Like many other sectors, AI has a firm grip on the electronics manufacturing industry.
Thanks to AI technologies, manufacturers can optimise their operations, boost innovation, improve quality and get to market faster. So, it is no surprise that a recent study discovered the value of AI in the manufacturing industry is expected to surpass £13.4 billion ($16.7 billion) by 2026…
It begs the question: is AI the future of electronics manufacturing? Or is the manufacturing industry pinning its hopes on technology still in its infancy?
Positive uses of AI in electronics manufacturing
Artificial intelligence is already transforming many companies across the industrial and consumer electronics sectors — and here’s how…
AI technologies reduce the need for time-consuming manual tasks, allowing workers to focus on the more demanding aspects of their roles.
For example, most PCB designers manually route and design their boards, which is a time-consuming and intricate process. However, embedding AI into PCB precision placement tools can help determine where each component should be placed — improving performance and accuracy whilst reducing the time required for assembly.
Manufacturing companies build their business on the quality of their products, so performance reliability is the key to success. Missing the root cause of production issues can make or break a manufacturer’s reputation; utilising AI algorithms takes the pressure off.
The technology can anticipate failures by collecting operational data, offering predictive analysis and insights into future performance to reduce downtime. This use of AI-enabled software is helping manufacturers achieve improved quality inspection (at higher speeds and with fewer costs).
At a time when manufacturers face obstacles that are seemingly out of their control, like inflation and supply chain issues, reducing human error is one area that can be controlled and improved by introducing computer vision artificial intelligence (CV AI).
CV AI is a computer processing technology that learns from visual data in the physical world (such as factories) and uses it to help manufacturers improve various production processes.
For example, the technology can detect electronic parts, orient them correctly on the assembly line and track their progress as they move through the various stages of the production process. Computer vision AI can also enable automated visual inspection to identify defective products with any type of anomaly — leading to faster inspection times and a higher-quality product for the end customer.
Considerations for manufacturers
Although there are many advantages, introducing AI technologies into the electronics manufacturing industry may still have its challenges…
It is fair to say that AI is an investment for manufacturers. The initial implementation is costly — and maintenance will need to be carried out by a skilled professional, adding further expenses.
However, this may be an investment worth making for bigger manufacturers that want to increase their production with AI.
As AI becomes more sophisticated, so do the ways to infiltrate and attack the technology by cyber criminals.
Any small vulnerabilities can be exploited by hackers. Not only could this disrupt the production line, but a data breach could shut down an entire manufacturing company until the problem is resolved.
So, if manufacturers are incorporating AI technologies into their production process, they should have robust security measures to deal with cyber attacks head-on.
For many manufacturers, the rapid development of AI technology raises concerns about mass job losses, leading to questions about whether or not human capabilities will be needed as technologies become smarter by the minute.
But is that the case? Companies will need to upskill their workforces for these new technical roles, and factories must prepare their teams for this new pace of advanced technology. However, instead of taking the jobs of electronics manufacturers, AI can enhance and expand human skills — streamlining the workflow and helping businesses achieve more…
Looking into the future
As AI becomes more and more mainstream within the electronics industry, how critical will it be to the success of manufacturers to implement these technologies?
Like any emerging technology, there are still problems that need addressing. But going forward, we expect to see AI positively impact operational processes and speed, revolutionising the way high quality, dependable electronics are made.
Utilising this advanced technology has the potential to help manufacturers boost production and reach a bigger market — with electronic products and components that showcase a commitment to quality. Working with AI, rather than being replaced by it, opens up never-ending, exciting possibilities for manufacturing electronic products.
At Swan EMS, we are excited to see where artificial intelligence takes the manufacturing industry. Are you ready to take your business to new levels?
We keep our finger on the pulse of the electronics industry, keeping our customers in the know. To discuss how our electronics manufacturing services can help with your next project, contact us at 01495 320 989 or email email@example.com.