Coming soon to a factory floor near you: Google AI.
Google Cloud and Siemens have announced an agreement that calls for Siemens to integrate Google Cloud’s AI and machine learning technologies into its factory automation products.
Google Cloud’s AI/ML capabilities will be combined with Siemens Digital Industries’ factory automation portfolio, allowing manufacturers to harmonize their factory data, run cloud-based AI/ML models on top of that data, and deploy algorithms at the network edge. This enables applications such as the visual inspection of products or predicting the wear-and-tear of machines on the assembly line.
Factory equipment is a part of what is called the industrial internet of things (IIOT), which refers to a network of connected devices in the industrial sector. Its defining characteristic is that the devices exchange data without any human interaction.
Siemens is looking to address what it calls ‘islands’ on the manufacturing floor, where all of the manufacturing equipment is connected but operates in isolation. Siemens notes manufacturers have struggled to implement AI at scale across their global operations.
The goal of the initiative is to make the deployment of AI in connection with the industrial edge – and its management at scale – easier, empowering employees as they work on the plant floor, automating mundane tasks, and improving overall quality.
“The potential for artificial intelligence to radically transform the plant floor is far from being exhausted. Many manufacturers are still stuck in AI ‘pilot projects’ today – we want to change that,” said Axel Lorenz, vice president of control at Factory Automation of Siemens Digital Industries, in a statement. “Combining AI/ML technology from Google Cloud with Siemens’ solutions for Industrial Edge and industrial operation will be a game changer for the manufacturing industry.”
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