Achieving Digital Transformation by Improving Quality through AI automation
Over 100 years ago, Henry Ford said, “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” Ensuring quality by meticulously inspecting work and materials was less complicated when Ford produced a single vehicle model in a single color - Black. Flash forward to 2020: The Ford Motor Company produced 1.7 million vehicles across multiple models with dozens of option packages. How can a manufacturer possibly “look” at every facet of the manufacturing process?
With IBM, Ford implemented an AI-powered computer-vision solution. The goal was to help detect hard to spot automobile body defects during the production process and correct the defects before they become a customer satisfaction problem. Although computer vision for quality has been around for 30 years, the lightweight and portable nature of IBM’s solution, based on readily available hardware, made it easy for any of Ford’s employees to use the solution, anywhere -even while objects are in motion. Ford was able to have an operational system, trained in a short period of time, without needing data scientists. This allowed Ford to immediately see measurable success in the reduction of defects.
This talk will feature Ford’s process in implementing and training IBM’s Maximo Visual Inspection platform. The Maximo Visual Inspection solution supported Ford’s “no fault forward” initiative with in-station process control and quality remediation at point of installation or assembly. This kind of continuous process improvement is helping Ford lower repair and warranty costs, and improve customer satisfaction, while helping employees play a role in bringing technical innovation to the floor.