There has been a major upheaval in the manufacturing industry in recent years. It is because customer expectations have been growing rapidly because of the coming up of the startups.
Reshoring is causing production to shift at home
Also, companies face increased pressure of reshoring, i.e., bringing the production back home. Thanks to the pandemic, it became tough to hire workers in other countries. The demand has also considerably reduced due to which it’s no longer feasible to operate production facilities everywhere. In 2022 reshoring will be a norm rather than just a response to the pandemic. Also, due to the pandemic cutting down production in different locations, companies can no longer choose offshoring and hence want to produce close to home. Hence, the companies have to keep pace with such changes accordingly. The manufacturing sector is largely driven by demand, due to which sometimes urgent hiring needs to be done to pace up with such changes. The companies have to adopt machines installed with sensors because competitors use the same. Hence, simulations will be needed to teach employees how to use such machines. A major use of such smart machines is happening in inventory management because, due to the pandemic, companies have been facing a precarious situation.
Mining is also an industry where smart machines play an important role because the human entrance into the mines is eliminated. Smart mining is one concept where no humans enter the mining area, and robots and autonomous vehicles are left to do the job. Such machines reduce the fatalities to nil, and carbon emissions are null.
A smart machine is getting used popularly in companies now. They include devices such as cars and robots, which don’t require any assistance from humans to finish anything delegated to them. These machines impart a lot of competitive advantage to businesses because they allow a cut in operating costs. Smart machines are also getting used because of the high access to systems such as the internet, due to which large data transfer is possible between different manufacturing facilities. Also, the data storage capabilities of businesses have multiplied over the years.
Unlike ordinary machines, smart machines have better cognitive capabilities and can be programmed with artificial intelligence-based algorithms to make decisions. These machines are endowed with special capabilities such as voice recognition, natural language processing, etc. They can analyze human instructions.
Scheduling of preventive maintenance
Smart machines can help humans by minimizing the downtime caused due to equipment failure. When companies get the privilege of predictive maintenance on machines, they can eliminate downtime and prevent material wastage caused due to it. They can help schedule their maintenance so that no harm is caused to machine breakdown. Since these machines have sensors, they can collect and share data with a control system, leading to faster decision-making. They also reduce the need for human intervention and help take timely action in circumstances where a delay can cause losses. Hence, any production stoppage is handled in time.
Lack of accidents
Smart machines are built with security considerations in mind, and hence they can prevent operators’ accidents. Such machines minimize the risk of accidents because they ensure complete adherence to the safety norms.
Since these smart cameras are empowered with AI-enabled video analytics, they help businesses ensure maximum employee safety, such as workers wearing PPE kits while handling dangerous chemicals. Such cameras help detect smoke emanating from a machine on time so that no fire-related accidents are there. These cameras are even faster than the traditional fire detectors in discovering a potential fire because they use thermal imaging technology.
With the pandemic playing havoc, companies have to use such machines due to the nonavailability of labor. The companies can do remote monitoring without anyone present on-site through such machines. The operator can check the entire site’s operations through these machines, allowing a safe work routine mandated by the pandemic.
With such machines increasingly used by companies, the new hires have to be trained quickly in using them so that they don’t face any issues. Hence, using an LMS is mandatory for companies to train such employees. Besides learning how to use such machines, the recruits also learn about the vision and policies of the company. The companies can’t afford any delays in the onboarding training of such employees because that means a delay in fulfilling customers’ demands.
How can employees be trained to use such machines?
Employees should be given proper training to operate such machines. Training in Artificial Intelligence skills can address skill shortage in this sector. The companies have to understand that the employee has to be trained in using such smart machines. A large majority of companies agree that there is an absence of skills in employees for handling such machines. The companies can’t impart such training because employees don’t have time for it and the former also lack a budget. But they can’t avoid any more delay if they want to stay in the race. Companies also have to understand that reskilling employees to use such machines has to be done on a large scale throughout the enterprise, rather than only for a smaller workforce section.
Data literacy must be essentially taught to the employees when working with such machines. Since such machines generate a lot of data, the employee must analyze such data based on their requirement. It involves concluding data as per the company policies.
The employee also needs to convert data into a usable form so that there are no errors. Raw data is generated by the machines and hence employees have to ensure that it’s free from any errors. It’s because when any erroneous data is uploaded to the control center,it can lead to wrong conclusions.
It is the companies’ job to ensure that all AI-based training is properly given to interact with smart machines.
Although humans can work with autonomous machines like driverless cars, there can be accidents, and to avoid them, they have to be trained.
The employees have to be trained on how to use machines like maintaining a distance from them during certain tasks, and animations can help them get a better idea. Simulations by the machine manufacturers can be given to employees prepared to have a clear idea about how to react in certain situations with the machine.
The companies can use screencasts for simulations, but they are no longer handy when the software changes. Hence, the employees should be given practice sessions on the real software of the machine. During these sessions, the hardware must not be attached to the machine so that no accidents are caused due to the operator’s faults.
Hence, companies can impart training to ensure employees learn how to work with smart machines.