PART 1: INTERVIEW WITH...
...ANDREAS ROITHER-VOIGT (EXPERT FOR INTELLIGENT PRODUCTION AND INDUSTRY 4.0)
How does artificial intelligence make its way into production?
Industrial enterprises possess an enormous treasure trove of data from their processes. The question we always ask ourselves in the beginning is: What can we do with these data? Constructively integrating artificial intelligence in production facilities requires experts who can read and interpret these data. Here at Tieto, we have a highly-specialized team of process engineers who analyse our customers’ data and develop intelligent AI models together with our data scientists. This entails the construction of algorithms capable of performing independent calculations, making decisions and generating predictions. For all this to function correctly, the artificial intelligence is trained by being constantly fed with new data.
How does Tieto support the industry in the implementation of AI?
Tieto Service Connect is a solution suite which gives our customers an easy way to blend their data with intelligent algorithms. This allows the informational value of the data to be used and integrated in business processes to enable the further optimization of these processes. Our expertise lies in offering and implementing projects in the fields of data-driven business and AI as uncomplicatedly and efficiently as possible – without any detours and with a maximum added value for our customers.
When does it make sense to integrate AI in production processes?
It is unusual in practice to overwhelm an industrial enterprise with an end-to-end AI solution. The implementation would take years. We recommend first using artificial intelligence for relatively simple and repetitive functions. In this case, the systems can independently assume simple tasks within a period of three to six months. You can gradually build on that and slowly relieve people of certain burdens, for example, by having AI take over monotonous workloads.
To which degree has AI already been implemented in production companies?
The industry is still at a relatively early stage here. Many production facilities already have a certain degree of automation, but people are still important as operators at the monitor. But there is an enormous potential to integrate AI in production processes and the industry is very interested in getting active here. The topic of artificial intelligence is a big trend and the right time to implement AI is now!
Who are the AI pioneers in Austria?
In Austria, there is a lot going on in the field of infrastructure, in the road and rail sector, in the energy field and in production. But insurance companies and banks also work with great amounts of data and are looking to use AI to their advantage. Austrian companies want to do more with data and use AI for decision-making processes.
How interesting is the implementation of AI for smaller enterprises?
AI is interesting for any business that collects data. Even smaller projects are of relevance for SMEs and make sense when it comes to quality assurance.
Artificial intelligence is still a relatively new trend. What new opportunities can we expect here in the future?
Things are clearly developing towards performance optimization through AI. That means that AI constantly analyses and interprets data to optimize the fine-tuning of the machines and operate the predictive maintenance. That has a positive impact in many aspects, for example, on the service life of the facilities and on quality optimization. It will be possible to avoid idle times, production losses and even accidents. But there still is a long way to go. My vision of the future is the autonomous machine: a machine that, thanks to AI, knows what it has to do, operates independently with an enormous quality and no longer depends on manual intervention. In this way, the machine extends the length of its own service. That can be compared to a person trying to lead a healthy life and making decisions accordingly.