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Just Like Being There: Productronica 2017 & Artificial Intelligence

There is no doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a regular part of the vocabulary of any electronics manufacturing industry professional. The question remains: does it have a role to play in manufacturing and where will it prove to be most valuable?

The answer, at least for now, is most probably, in certain situations and in the future, even more so. Feedback and feedforward loops create cyber physical systems that take actionable data and relay that to the machines that use that data to improve process performance. At the next level, AI can ad much more additional value, taking that data over a period and from multiple sites and using it to learn, optimize and perfect processes.

Data for data's sake achieves nothing, but AI may be just what's needed to help the manufacturing industry reach smart factory nirvana and deliver the value promised by Industry 4.0. I decided to buttonhole some top minds to talk about this trend at Productronica, one of the largest electronic manufacturing events in the world. Held last month, in Munich, Germany, the show attracted more than 2,000 exhibiting companies and 55,000 visitors. 

In this debate, I am joined by Harald Eppinger, general manager at Koh Young; Miles Moreau, technical product specialist at KIC; and Michael Ford, European marketing manager at Aegis Software. I wanted to explore the opportunity and the reality of AI on the surface mount technology (SM) line and throughout the manufacturing ecosystem.

The group discuss the potential for the use of AI as well as the work their individual companies are doing in the field. We also explored the importance of domain expertise that allows every application to start with good accurate data.

Filmed on location in the SCOOPstudio  under the sponsorship of Aegis, Cogiscan, Jabil, KIC, Koh Young, and Radius Innovation.

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