See Artificial Intelligence as an evolution rather than a revolution
Artificial Intelligence can be groundbreaking. This does not mean that everything is taken over by robots or algorithms right away. AI can also be used in the background to help people do their jobs better. The technology can take over routine tasks – such as ticking off a checklist – to free up time for more meaningful, challenging tasks.
Technology can support us in certain decisions, but for the moment crucial safety decisions are best left to people. For example, vibration is an environmental factor that cannot be faultlessly assessed by sensors yet. It requires the intervention of an expert who can look at this factor in the right context. And what happens if the line of communication between machine and intelligence breaks down? The operator also serves as a safety feature in that respect.
We can therefore conclude that an operator is still crucial. The rapidly evolving technology landscape may cause this to change in the (near) future. It is important to keep an eye on what needs to be done now, but it is equally important to make sure we gradually evolve towards what will need to be done tomorrow. It is best to do this step-by-step in consultation with all stakeholders. This is the only way to make room for a digital and future-oriented mindset.
Go paperless: save trees and data
Close your eyes and imagine yourself inside the factory hall. Operators are walking around with pieces of paper. They put them in their back pockets and forget to fill them in because something else attracts their attention. Paper forms get lost and end up in the bin. Correctly completed forms are impossible to read. A hair-raising situation, not least because a treasure trove of data is being lost. It makes good reporting very difficult. It is also completely impossible to process this data and combine it with other relevant data to gain new smart insights.
Leaving the paper age behind has all kinds of advantages. A digital character can never be misinterpreted. Notifications ensure that the operator fills in all the necessary information. This input can be analyzed in real time with AI or machine learning (ML). A specific value can automatically trigger another notification to check a certain part of a machine, for example.
With automation and digitalization, great progress can be made in terms of data quality and data processing speed. This will immediately result in cost reduction and more efficiency. Cultivating a digital attitude is also crucial in this step, because the tablets are still being operated by humans. A well-considered change process is required.