Lights-out manufacturing in its simplest form downplays, and even ignores, the power of human contribution. It can’t be denied that the type of human intervention to the manufacturing process has changed over the years – and without argument, largely for the better. In fact, most of the advancements made in automation and robotics have been driven by human ingenuity.
Instead of envisioning a future reality where human touch is eliminated altogether; it’s more likely the type of human touch will change.
The variety of jobs available in electronics manufacturing certainly don’t look like they did 10 or 15 years ago, and with further adoption of AI technology
, we will continue to see roles evolve. And while this industry is slower to fully incorporate advanced AI technology, whether for proprietary information concerns, costing considerations, or simple fear of the unknown, manufacturers will eventually have to integrate AI into the production process to remain competitive
Doing so effectively will require the right talent pool and, with the talent shortage crisis plaguing this industry for the last five or so years, work needs to be done today to attract the future manufacturing visionaries driving SMT’s tomorrow. The potential for improvement with AI in electronics manufacturing is vast.
Taking one simple example by looking at the opportunity for effective closed-loop manufacturing where the AOI machine feeds results directly back to the upstream process machine, which then automatically calculates algorithms to fix its uploaded program in real-time during a production job… well, the benefits to manufacturers, and to those who invent both a universally adopted and vendor-neutral solution to make all this possible, are tremendous.