Artificial intelligence isn't exactly a new presence on the modern factory floor. Smart machinery – driven by AI – has been working alongside humans for quite some time now and, while it's not without its share of controversy, it's a trend that's on the rise.
There's no denying the benefits of AI-driven machinery and the concept of large-scale smart factories. Even with the drawbacks that may be associated with such advancements, it's hard to argue with the numerous advantages of AI-driven technology and automation within the modern factory setting.
But the marriage of AI and manufacturing isn't perfect. At best, it's a rather new relationship that has a lot of issues to resolve. And that's exactly what Google and Siemens hope to achieve with their latest endeavor.
Two Giants Working Together
News of the partnership originally broke via the Google Cloud blog, where they detailed plans to pair their AI and machine learning technologies with the automation systems of Siemens. The result, if successful, will make it far easier for factories to embrace AI technology in the future.
Dominik Wee, managing director of Manufacturing and Industrial with Google Cloud, spoke about the partnership by saying: "Siemens is a leader in advancing industrial automation and software, and Google Cloud is a leader in data analytics and AI/ML. This cooperation will combine the best of both worlds and bring AI/ML to the manufacturing industry at scale. By simplifying the deployment of AI in industrial use cases, we’re helping employees augment their critical work on the shop floor."
Specifically, Google wants to use their data cloud, AI, and machine learning infrastructure to complement the services provided by Siemens' Digital Industries Factory Automation platform, which combines software and hardware automation as well as digitalization.
Axel Lorenz, vice president of control of Factory Automation with Siemens Digital Industries, echoed Google's sentiments while highlighting the problems of modern manufacturing by saying: "The potential for artificial intelligence to radically transform the plant floor is far from being exhausted. Many manufacturers are still stuck in AI ‘pilot projects’ today - we want to change that. Combining AI/ML technology from Google Cloud with Siemens’ solutions for Industrial Edge and industrial operation will be a game changer for the manufacturing industry."
Paving the Road Ahead
It's clear that Google and Siemens are trying to pave the road ahead for the world of smart manufacturing. As highlighted earlier, it's a solution to a problem that plagues many modern manufacturers, including early adapters of AI technology and those that still rely on more traditional means.
But the new partnership between could revolutionize smart manufacturing as we know it. Since so many manufacturers unable to get past the earliest, most complicated stages of AI integration, and with others witnessing their struggles, AI-driven machinery has yet to achieve its full potential. However, now that two industry powerhouses like Google and Siemens are taking up the helm, the future of AI technology on the factory floor looks brighter than it's ever been.
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