The UK has the potential to lead the world in the application of artificial intelligence for manufacturing, according to an AI lead at Coventry’s Manufacturing Technology Centre.
Dr Nandini Chakravorti, technology manager for the data and information systems team at the MTC, said the UK has the largest artificial intelligence and machine learning markets in Europe, with more than 200 SMEs in the field, compared to just 80 in Germany.
“The UK has a tremendous platform to capitalise on these new, disruptive technologies. Artificial intelligence has huge potential to revolutionise manufacturing in areas such as predictive maintenance, quality control and faster, more reliable designs,” she said.
But she warned that the industrial take-up of AI was impeded by a number of key factors.
“The adoption of AI in industry has been slow for a number of reasons. These include lack of leadership knowledge and awareness, lack of support for start-ups and a lack of clarity on the return on investment. Developing an artificial intelligence strategy with clearly defined financial and effectiveness goals, finding individuals with the appropriate skill sets, clear ownership and strategic commitment to AI on the part of leaders are some of the ways forward to ensure AI is deployed to get benefits. The potential is enormous.”
The MTC, part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK, will be hosting an event in February 2020 to help business leaders, decision-makers, entrepreneurs and engineers understand the benefits AI can bring to a manufacturing business. “Artificial Intelligence for Manufacturing 2020” will be held on February 12. More information can be found at www.the-mtc.org/aiformanufacturing.
Dr Chakravorti said, “Artificial intelligence has been around since the 1950s, but the availability of ultra high-speed computing and widespread connectivity is giving us the chance to make huge advances which will improve quality and productivity, along with manufacturing accuracy and repeatability. The blend of industry, technology businesses and academia provides major opportunities for the UK to be positioned as a world leader in the industrial application of AI.”
The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.
The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.