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Manufacturing Profitability AI

Yen Chang, Founder, MATA Inventive


The year 2021 is an exciting but challenging year in manufacturing. The economy is recovering, yet there is an universal talent shortage and material cost increase. There are certain things you can not do much about, such as the steel price, and there are some other things definitely controllable and greatly affect profitability - the shop floor efficiency and on-time delivery capability. For a small-medium machine manufacturing facility owner/manager, it all comes down to the core question - how to stay profitable? Many facilities use cutting edge equipment, but still rely on experience and manual non-quantitative methods when it comes to finding shop floor bottlenecks. It is, more than desired, those unexpected bottlenecks that make or break a job’s profitability not only in terms of labor cost, on-time delivery, and shop floor morale. There is a simple way to solve this problem - identify a bottleneck beforehand and solve it before it happens. In other words, know the risk of delay when giving a quote to your customer. Is it possible to predict the future? That’s what AI is really good at. We can imagine the benefit of it first. Knowing the bottlenecks and the associated delay, you can not only be aware of the key issues, identify whether a job is quoted and executed reasonably, and which employees should be rewarded. If that sounds appealing but seems impossible, MATA’s manufacturing AI does exactly that.


The AI turns existing shop floor data into the possibility of delays per job, part, work station, technician, and time of the day with 80%+ of accuracy. In several cases, the AI has successfully identified job delays 30 days before they happen, and which department they come from:Of course, there are always challenges implementing even the greatest ideas. Some typical challenges include managers expressing that “I don’t want to learn yet another system”, or the technicians saying “it’s here to monitor us”. I think the real question is, is the benefit of profitability AI outweighs the onboarding time spent? I would like to think in a way that if you manage a shop floor and are just tired of having to be on top of everything and it seems like everything relies on you, how important it is to you if there’s an Artificial Intelligence that can really help you stay profitable by providing actionable items to achieve your profitability goal predictively?

Yen Chang has led an impressive career as an Artificial Intelligence expert and problem solver in his/her 13 years working in the automation/controls industry. In 2014, he was awarded a PhD degree in precision systems control from the University of California, Los Angeles. His patents and precision control algorithms improve manufacturing and automation efficiency for both the robotics and CNC machining fields. Serving as the CEO at Mata Inventive, Yen plays a major role in using AI and equipment monitoring to improve manufacturing efficiency and profitability. Through his commitment to this role, he has helped many machine shops improve scheduling accuracy and profitability by 20%+.