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BLOG: AI Rising in Manufacturing Industry (APAC)

In the dynamic landscape of manufacturing, Asia Pacific (APAC) stands as a pivotal hub, contributing approximately 48.5% to the global manufacturing output. The region is on the brink of a transformative journey, fueled by a well-established manufacturing ecosystem and unwavering government support.


As spending in the artificial intelligence (AI) market is projected to soar to US$49.2 billion by 2026, with a remarkable compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.5% from 2021 to 2026, the potential for smart manufacturing advancements in APAC is immense. These investments are set to drive automation through the integration of cutting-edge technologies such as robotics and control systems, promising improved performance metrics across production processes.


Challenges Hindering Industry 4.0 in APAC

Despite the promising landscape, APAC manufacturers face hurdles in embracing Industry 4.0. Reluctance towards adopting new technology, a shortage of skilled personnel, and difficulties in measuring the return on investment (ROI) for smart manufacturing digital solutions are among the most pressing challenges.


Moreover, competitive differentiators are becoming increasingly vital, urging manufacturers to elevate their digital investments. Companies with higher digital maturity have displayed greater resilience and adaptability to supply chain challenges, emphasizing the need for a proactive approach.


Unlocking Competitive Advantages with Cognitive AI

Enterprises are recognizing the transformative potential of AI in streamlining operations and enhancing efficiency. Traditional AI technologies often operate as “black boxes,” lacking transparency in decision-making processes. The solution lies in embracing Cognitive AI, acting as a “glass box” that provides detailed justifications for suggestions, supported by clear audit trails.


Cognitive AI holds the key to competitive advantages in process manufacturing. From improving quality and yield to identifying bottlenecks, optimizing financials, and implementing effective mitigation strategies, Cognitive AI is reshaping the manufacturing landscape. In the realm of robotic predictive maintenance, Cognitive AI is streamlining service technician support, prioritizing maintenance tasks, and maximizing production line uptime.


Overcoming Resistance to Technology Adoption

The manufacturing sector in APAC faces challenges in attracting digital talent, exacerbated by factors such as the rapidly aging workforce and competition from other industries. Resistance to adopting advanced technology, including AI, stems from the lack of specialized skills and concerns about technology replacing current employees.


Cognitive AI emerges as a solution, equipping smart manufacturers and their employees with superior decision-making capabilities. By combining the strengths of technology and human expertise, Cognitive AI instills confidence in stakeholders during critical decision-making processes in high-risk situations.


AI: A Catalyst for Future Manufacturing Success

While the transformative potential of AI in manufacturing is evident, challenges such as upfront investments in technology and training hinder widespread adoption, particularly for SMEs. Awareness of government support is high, yet only 50% of SMEs applied for support in 2022. Cybersecurity concerns, evidenced by a significant increase in cyber events among SMEs, add an additional layer of complexity.


However, AI is undeniably the catalyst for future success in the manufacturing industry. Forward-thinking manufacturers should seize the opportunities presented by AI to gain a competitive edge. While significant upfront investments may be required, the long-term benefits directly impact the bottom line.


Companies must prepare for digitalization, ensuring AI-readiness to drive customer success, improve operations, and boost revenue and profitability. In this era of smart manufacturing evolution, embracing AI is not just a choice but a strategic imperative for sustained growth.

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