AIoT – The goal on the way to Industry 4.0

Written by Anna Stuk

June 10, 2021

Artificial intelligence of things

One of the latest technology trends for enterprises is the combination of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. Merged, the new trend of tools that use both AI and IoT is called AIoT – Artificial Intelligence of Things [1]. When applied together, AI and IoT generate the greatest benefit for enterprises across industries. According to Gartner [2] by 2022, more than 80% IoT projects worldwide will consider AI applications. Major companies also confirm that the application of AIoT has already brought excellent results and increased their productivity. Moreover, they claim to increase competitiveness with the help of AIoT [3].

What exactly does the combination of AI and IoT mean for manufacturers?
Internet of Things revolutionised the manufacturing industry in the late 20th century. The idea of IoT is to connect physical objects virtually through the internet. In manufacturing, all machines in the plant can be connected and interact with each other using different sensors and network mechanisms. IoT enables more efficient communication between humans and machines. It also allows to store the data collected during the production process, such as product information, workflow details or data related to the condition of machines installed in the factory. Thus, IoT creates a better overview of the manufacturing plant and simplifies the control of the production process.
With Artificial Intelligence, in addition to an interconnected factory and a data storage system, manufacturers receive smart technology that is able to analyse processes and make decisions. AI helps to organize and systematically evaluate the data collected with help of IoT.
Applied together both technologies generate the most power, enabling automated workflows and fast data-driven decisions. AIoT makes the concept Industry 4.0 real. Connected manufacturing plants that are driven through smart technology will probably be a standard in a few years.

The interconnected smart factory is the new goal to which FotoNow contributes.

How does FotoNow apply AIoT?
FotoNow is an example of how AIoT can be applied in manufacturing conditions. The solution captures images of the parts on the production line and scans them for visual defects. The images of the parts are stored in the cloud. With this function, manufacturers receive an overview, where the entire production process is documented and organized automatically. This feature already includes elements of AI and IoT. Based on the information given to the model, the AI-driven solution recognizes relevant objects in the camera vision field and makes a decision to capture an image only when the relevant object is identified. Thus, FotoNow does not require manual operations, line stoppages or stabilizers to take pictures. It takes images of the parts as the line moves, blurs any irrelevant objects or sensitive data, increases the quality of the image, and saves the image to the cloud, creating a database that helps optimize monitoring and quality assurance in the manufacturing process.
In the next step, the image of each part is checked for visual defects, i.e. scratches, dents, blowholes, etc. Visual quality inspection is performed within seconds and the system generates a real-time notification if a part is found to have defects. These notifications are sent to the employees responsible for the quality check. In addition, FotoNow communicates with the machines working in the production line and gives commands to remove defective parts from production. In this way, a continuous efficient manufacturing workflow is supported, ensuring maximum quality of the final products.
FotoNow is virtually connected to the manufacturing plant enabling an efficient interaction between the machines, working in the production process, and between the production plant and the employees.

Jobs at FotoNow

[1] Global Tech Outlook: AIoT: How Convergence of AI and IoT can Disrupt Industries?
[2] Gartner: 3 AI Trends for Enterprise Computing.
[3] Electronica: AIoT: Künstliche Intelligenz trifft auf IoT.

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