Industry 4.0 Three tips: How to successfully use AI

Editor: Steffen Donath

During an event in Würzburg, experts discussed how industrial companies can successfully use AI. We were there and put together the three essential tips for you.

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When it comes to utilising AI in the industry, experts advise companies to seek the support of researchers.
When it comes to utilising AI in the industry, experts advise companies to seek the support of researchers.
(Source: Raul Varzar (Unsplash))

If you ask small and medium-sized industrial companies about AI, the answers are often sobering. “That's only something for the big ones,” they might say, or “we don't need it, it costs too much money.” But a glance at the figures shows what potential the technology really offers. Experts estimate that artificial intelligence will generate growth of almost 32 billion euros in the manufacturing sector by 2023. Everyone could profit from this, including SMEs. However, a discussion with representatives from politics, research and industry shows that anyone who wants their share must set the course today. We have put together three tips from the experts that will help you.

Tip 1: Sharpen your mindset — are you ready for AI?

Artificial intelligence means disruption. The products of tomorrow are not born from the products of today — just as the light bulb is not the evolution of the candle. For companies this means: Be courageous, allow new ideas and develop yourself further with the technology. Perfectionism slows you down. So don't get bogged down in details and learn from your failure. The greatest competitive advantages will not be gained with technology, but with an open mindset.

Tip 2: Create infrastructures and build know-how

Most industrial companies do not know how to use artificial intelligence to their advantage. However, there are many possible applications — from quality control to the development of new business models. Therefore, clarify at an early stage for what purpose AI can serve you. Seek support from experts or associations for the process.

Create better career opportunities for qualified specialists in your company. Valuable AI know-how will thus be available to you more quickly in central positions. In addition you need also new training possibilities and training further offers for coworkers. There is no blueprint on how best to restructure. Stay in constant contact with your staff and demand constructive feedback.

Tip 3: Develop new business models

Today, in the context of artificial intelligence, it is mostly a matter of optimising existing production processes. But AI can do more! In the long run, the development of new products and business models will play a much more important role. So don't stand still, rather create the conditions for it. In concrete terms this means: Step outside the corporate filter bubble and orient yourself externally. Spin-offs and co-operations with start-ups help you to make your product development more flexible and open. Make sure you take the time for a detailed evaluation of potential business partners.