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Introduction

It’s been over a year since the concept of Genenerative AI took the world by storm. Yet, even today, the excitement around the technology and the (seemingly impossible) things it can achieve is still at its peak. Of the many applications of Generative AI, its use in and impact on digital factories is likely to be extensive. From intelligent assistance to widespread autonomy – GenAI is poised to play a huge role in carving the factory of the future.

Let’s learn more about the possibly transformative role of GenAI in digital factories.

While GenAI delivers several benefits for manufacturers, its long-term success depends on how well it is implemented. Read on as we showcase GenAI’s role in digital factories and how manufacturers can successfully bring their GenAI vision to life.

Driving Unmatched Levels of Efficiency with Generative AI

A recent BCG survey of 1,800 manufacturing executives ranked Artificial Intelligence (including Generative AI) as the most disruptive technology on their radars. The collective belief is that it could play a significant role in enhancing factory activities and augmenting workforce productivity in novel ways.

GenAI opens doors to several benefits in the manufacturing sector. From intelligent quality control to proactive product servicing, document generation to product R&D, supplier contract management to automated troubleshooting and self healing: manufacturers across sectors can leverage GenAI in three ways:

1. Assistance systems: GenAI applications can act as assistance systems, enhancing the efficiency of the workforce. For example, instead of manually writing code for a new feature, programmers can provide a natural language description of the desired code. A GenAI code generator can then use this text input to automatically generate code. This minimizes the time and effort required for engineering new solutions while also reducing related expenses.
2. Recommendation systems: GenAI tools can provide valuable recommendations that help workers identify the best methods for specific tasks. In the realm of predictive maintenance, GenAI can act as a valuable tool. Instead of having workers plan and run a long list of maintenance activities, Generative AI can provide recommendations on the next steps, enhancing productivity and reducing costs.
3. Autonomous systems: GenAI platforms can also perform autonomously, requiring no human intervention. For instance, in the event of a cyberattack, GenAI systems can enable machinery to adapt to the new environment. They can shut themselves down and autonomously rebuild themselves with new software patches and firmware updates.

Bringing the GenAI Vision to the Production Floor

GenAI can bring exceptional benefits to digital factories. However, the complexity of the technology makes having a robust foundation crucial. If you want to successfully bring your GenAI vision to the production floor, you must carefully embark on the implementation journey.

Here’s how you can set the right foot forward:
· Source the right data: GenAI tools are fundamentally data-dependent. Therefore, you need to collect and assimilate data from a variety of sources. These range from sensors to IoT devices, factory equipment, warehouse management systems, ERP and CRM systems, etc. The more relevant data you collect, the more comprehensive outcomes your Generative AI applications can deliver.
· Clean and process the data: Once all relevant data has been collected from different manufacturing processes and systems, it is important to clean and process this data. You need to cleanse, filter, and contextualize data that is inputted into the GenAI models. You must also have proper governance policies in place to ensure secure and authorized sharing, archiving, and deletion of critical manufacturing data.
· Build the right hosting model: The model you choose can make or break your GenAI vision. Therefore, take time to understand the different models and choose one that makes the most sense for your business. For instance, you can partner with a qualified vendor to host the large language models (LLM) required for your GenAI application. You could also opt for an open-source foundational model or develop your own LLM for greater control and customization.
· Ensure enough computing power: GenAI applications need to handle humongous volumes of data. Therefore, you need to ensure they have enough computing power. Investing in cloud-based central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs) is a great way to have the memory bandwidth and power needed for your GenAI application to work efficiently.
· Strengthen connectivity: Strong connectivity is essential to enable real-time communication and data availability of GenAI applications. While upgrading your networks, make sure to factor in latency and bandwidth requirements. Relying on cloud and edge technology is also a great way to boost reliability, processing speed, and power.
· Establish governance: The amount of data GenAI applications rely on makes them a prime target for hackers. To safeguard against attacks, it is important to establish the right levels of governance. Implement robust identity and access management and data protection measures to improve threat detection and response, risk analysis, and recovery planning.

Ensuring Successful GenAI Implementation

Despite all the buzz around GenAI, manufacturers have finally realized that simply implementing tools like ChatGPT will not revolutionize factory operations. To drive effective engagement with GenAI, they must:

  • Develop a sound understanding of the technology and its capabilities and limitations. This can be achieved through various educational and training sessions.
  • Create a robust roadmap for GenAI implementation and monitor progress throughout the journey while addressing gaps and challenges along the way.
  • Strike the right balance between quality and cost and ensure GenAI implementation meets intended business results – without draining budgets.
  • Work in strong partnerships with various vendors to complement internal capabilities and consistently and efficiently develop and scale the GenAI implementation project.
  • Implement pilots to achieve early results that offer measurable outcomes and validate the impact to drive broader adoption of GenAI across the digital factory.

 

GenAI does hold significant potential for digital factors. If you want to tap into its many capabilities and enjoy benefits across the board, you must invest substantial time, effort, and money into it. Learn how Pratiti can help you craft the ideal future-forward GenAI roadmap and assist you with a successful implementation.

Nitin
Nitin Tappe

After successful stint in a corporate role, Nitin is back to what he enjoys most – conceptualizing new software solutions to solve business problems. Nitin is a postgraduate from IIT, Mumbai, India and in his 24 years of career, has played key roles in building a desktop as well as enterprise solutions right from idealization to launch which are adopted by many Fortune 500 companies. As a Founder member of Pratiti Technologies, he is committed to applying his management learning as well as the passion for building new solutions to realize your innovation with certainty.

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