How can manufacturing companies best exploit artificial intelligence potential? 

The main answer outlined by CEUP2030 Mid Term event is “leveraging on a strong innovation ecosystem and establishing key connections in EU strategic value chains”

Artificial intelligence is a game-changing technology for various industries. Looking at manufacturing sector, AI is strongly affecting companies’ processes increasing productivity, efficiency, rapidity and ensuring higher customisation while reducing operational costs. AI technologies are also rapidly changing the way humans are working allowing them to focus on value added activities while ensuring higher safety, ergonomics and inclusivity but at the same time requiring new competences and knowledge.

Although benefits from AI adoptions are widely recognised, several manufacturing companies, in particular SMEs, are still far from the integration of AI technologies in their production processes. Culture and mindset, technological and skill gaps or unclear company strategy are some of the barriers that are hampering the access to these technologies.

During the CEUP2030 MidTerm event organised by AFIL -Associazione Fabbrica Intelligente Lombardia, in collaboration with Consorzio Intellimech, an audience of more than 150 participants gather to learn more about AI technologies state of the art as well as the related technological and market trend and the actions designed by the European Commission to support the adoption of AI technologies in manufacturing sector.

 The event was also the opportunity to share some peculiarities of Lombardy manufacturing sector and how companies in this important manufacturing area are approaching the development, implementation and integration of AI technologies in their processes.

 Brembo, STMicroelectronics, Fluid-o-Tech, Consorzio Intellimech and AFIL involved in the debate highlighted some key priorities connected to the uptake of AI which represent the main takeaways of the conference:

  • AI applications are enabled by data which must be certain, unique and guaranteed
  • The development of sensors and intelligent components able to collect and elaborate is becoming more and more strategic since they are enabling advanced services which delivers value added for both the producer and the end user
  • The simultaneous consultation of a large amount of data, synchronous throughout the entire vaule chain is needed to have a realist prediction
  • Ensuring the alignment along the value chain can be done only establishing strategic collaboration in the ecosystem, where companies, universities and research centres implement an "holistic" approach for data review.
  • Knowledge management and formalisation of the know-how available in the company is essential to fully exploit the potential of AI