Expanding AI in video: The next frontier for manufacturers


Manufacturing leaders are being challenged to embrace the opportunities offered by technological advances while navigating business uncertainty and optimising costs. This explains why nearly nine in 10 (86%) manufacturing executives believe smart factory solutions will be the main driver of their competitiveness over the next five years, according to consultant Deloitte.

Recent research from Hanwha Vision aligns with this finding, delving into the details of the digital transformations that manufacturing leaders plan to undertake. One technology for smart factories is poised to supersede them all: artificial intelligence. This includes AI-enabled video, which is playing an increasingly important role in many manufacturing operations.

Open to technology

Indeed, Hanwha Vision’s research found that the manufacturing sector was the most open to using technology to deliver productivity gains compared to others, including retail and smart cities. This openness may, in part, be due to the sector’s early adoption of technologies such as automation and the IoT. More than six in 10 (63%) manufacturing leaders plan to increase their AI budgets over the next year, which indicates that current AI projects are paying off and senior stakeholders are confident, with buy-in for further investment high.

Delivering operational efficiencies

The adoption of AI in cameras is expanding video beyond its traditional remit of security towards delivering operational efficiencies. Thanks to AI, cameras have a redefined role in manufacturing, primarily geared towards reducing downtime, upholding production standards, reducing errors, and automating health and safety protocols.

Hanwha Vision’s research reveals that the top five applications for AI-enabled video being explored by manufacturing leaders are:

  1. Notifying operators of plant and equipment failure.
  2. Identifying blockages or queued items on production lines.
  3. Spotting manufacturing errors in finished goods leaving production lines.
  4. Alerting operators to production delays or disruptions to processes.
  5. Warning managers if staff are not wearing adequate PPE in hazardous areas.

Improving downtime, maintenance, and health and safety

These applications demonstrate that manufacturing business leaders are aware of how AI-enabled video can quickly alert operators and maintenance staff to potential issues with machinery or production lines that can impact output. Maintenance schedules can be proactively informed by video data to determine when a machine requires servicing or if it is performing sub-optimally, ensuring that unexpected downtime can be avoided.

Health and safety can also be improved with object recognition determining if someone is not wearing appropriate protective equipment, for example, high-vis jackets, in dangerous areas. Or, indeed, sensing if someone has entered a restricted or hazardous area and issuing an alert to operators to check that the individual is authorised to be there.

A central tool for manufacturers

AI-enabled video is emerging as a central tool for many aspects of manufacturing. By augmenting the technology with AI, video is moving far from its traditional roots in security and deep into the operational centre of organisations, where it is delivering new insights and bringing greater value.

To learn more about manufacturing’s use of AI in video and how to implement it in your organisation, read the full research report here.