New Testbed Explores Application of Artificial Intelligence, Industrial Internet Technologies to Optimize Automotive Manufacturing

NEEDHAM, Mass.–The Industrial Internet Consortium® (IIC), an organization working to accelerate the build-out of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), recently announced the Optimizing Manufacturing Processes by Artificial Intelligence (OMPAI) testbed.

The OMPAI testbed is led by IIC members Wanxiang Group and Thingswise, and it is supported by Dell Technologies, Xilinx, China Unicom, and China Academy of Information and Communication Technology (CAICT). It is also the first IIC testbed to leverage the Linux Foundation's EdgeX Foundry open edge computing framework.

The OMPAI testbed explores the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and industrial internet technologies, deployed from the edge to the cloud, to optimize automotive manufacturing processes. It also seeks to create an ecosystem that will foster the exchange of IT/AI/OT domain knowledge and the co-development of smart manufacturing applications. For example, deep learning may be able to improve quality assurance of an automobile part to substantially increase the detection of defects and reduce the need for manual inspection.

"As a leading multinational corporation in automotive and renewable energy, with factories in Europe, North America, and Asia, we believe that an industrial IoT platform will be a key enabler for our digital transformation and global synergy," said Vincent Wang, chief innovation officer of Wanxiang Holdings, in a press release. "We are glad to work with technology leaders to validate AI, edge-cloud collaborative computers, and high-speed cellular networks to optimize manufacturing productivity and quality. This is the first step toward an open, inclusive IIoT platform on which we will continue with further testbeds, incorporating new ideas, new data usage models, and creating greater value add. We invite worldwide enterprises, innovators, and entrepreneurs to enrich the ecosystem together."

"The application of artificial intelligence in manufacturing is a fledgling field of development in much need of demonstrable success or return on investment (ROI)," said Dr. Shi-Wan Lin, CEO and co-founder of Thingswise, an industrial internet platform solution provider. "There is also a challenge of bringing the requisite IT/AI and OT expertise together to enable this development. It is exciting to see yet another large global manufacturer taking the lead in an IIC testbed, bringing their deep knowledge in production technology to bear, with a sharp focus on applying industrial internet technologies and AI to solve core manufacturing problems, extending from traditional predictive maintenance to production-quality and process optimization. I’m confident that this testbed will bring valuable experience and insights to the industrial internet community."

IIC testbeds are where the innovation and opportunities of the industrial internet happen. IIC member companies partner to create solutions that are not only connected, but also share data. The outcomes from testbeds are the cornerstones of a feedback loop from concept to reality, and back to guidance for further innovation.

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