UK manufacturing behind in race to harness AI
The UK manufacturing industry is failing to invest in artificial intelligence, creating a potential loss of £151,000 to each individual company.
The lack of investment in AI is seeing the UK lag significantly behind its European counterparts.
The fastest growth in May 2017 was recorded in Germany, followed by Austria and the Netherlands – the UK came far behind the Eurozone in fifth place.
UK manufacturers that do employ AI-enabled systems typically gain 50 hours of enhanced efficiency in the workplace thanks to increased machine and workforce efficiency.
The research conducted by Oneserve, a field service management company, in partnership with leading British manufacturers, found that companies waste on average £120,000 maintaining legacy machines and £31,000 is lost each year through machine downtime.
Of the senior business leaders surveyed, 93 per cent said their workforce would be more productive as a direct result of moving towards AI-enabled systems.
The research found there is a concerning amount of disconnect around AI in the industry.
Seven out of ten (72 per cent) senior decision makers who took part said AI is valuable to the industry’s future, yet worryingly 67 per cent also said the benefits to businesses are not clear.
With the government reporting that £360 billion could be unlocked for the economy through harnessing AI, at a time when the UK economy needs every boost it can get, it is essential the manufacturing industry reaches agreement on harnessing AI to improve productivity.
Harnessing AI will create a ‘smart manufacturing’ workforce; where machine downtime is significantly reduced, workforces are managed efficiently, and customer relations are improved based on historical data analysis not guess work.
Manufacturers who choose not to integrate AI into their systems are at serious risk of being left in the past.
Chris Proctor, CEO of Oneserve said: “It’s very worrying to see such disconnect between those leading the manufacturing industry – especially when it comes to artificial intelligence which could have such a positive and dramatic impact on the industry as a whole.
“AI-enabled systems must become the norm if the UK is to stay at the top of the manufacturing league.”