Industrial AI Challenges Still Prevalent

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It may be surprising, but the majority of manufacturing companies haven’t yet adopted artificial intelligence to make their operations more efficient. Possibly equally surprising: Many of the manufacturers that have enlisted industrial artificial intelligence have yet to see the payback expected. About half of projects at the proof-of-concept (POC) phase aren’t delivering, but even in later-stage projects, that percentage remains at about 50%, said Alex West, principal analyst of IoT for Omdia, during a panel discussion on AI and industrial IoT at Industrial AI Summit. With industrial AI, manufacturers can better understand product inventory on hand in a warehouse or gain insight into the location of a truck on the road. But many companies have yet to take the leap that would enable these kinds of efficiencies. “Many companies are still struggling to just connect sensors and understand really what AI is and especially how to deploy it in their operations,” said West, who moderated the session. The hype of industrial AI can make it simultaneously too alluring and unapproachable. Panelists agreed. “AI seems to be a magic stick or a black box,” saidTarun Rana, corporate senior manager fordigital transformation at consumer goods company Henkel. But there are serious possibilities with industrial AI, he said.

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