Published on February 29, 2024, 8:06 am

Manufacturers are increasingly turning to generative AI as a potential solution for various challenges they face. A recent study by Avanade, a tech expert specializing in the Microsoft ecosystem, reveals that 92% of manufacturers aim to prioritize AI within the next year. However, only 7% currently leverage AI on an hourly basis for their real-time operations.

The advancement and relevance of AI are driving curiosity around its applications. Microsoft’s Copilot is a prime example, empowering businesses to extract insights from diverse data sources using large language models (LLMs), a form of generative AI capable of creating human-like text.

Microsoft Copilot offers revolutionary benefits for manufacturers, including its “ask-an-expert” feature. Brendan Mislin, General Manager for Industry X at Avanade, highlights how this tool enables manufacturing professionals to streamline complex tasks, automate repetitive processes, and enhance work efficiency through simple natural-language queries.

By utilizing the ask-an-expert tool, manufacturers can boost productivity, reduce costs, and enhance employees’ work-life balance. Quality control processes in manufacturing often consume time inefficiently. With Microsoft Copilot, quality control managers no longer need to navigate through multiple systems manually; instead, they can access immediate solutions via a user-friendly interface.

Moreover, Microsoft Copilot helps workers prevent quality issues that could jeopardize safety and lead to product recalls. In the automotive sector alone, numerous recalls occurred in 2022 due to safety concerns like faulty airbags. The ask-an-expert tools offer real-time insights into safety standards and defects, enabling operators to identify and mitigate risks proactively before products reach the market.

For these generative AI tools to deliver maximum benefits, a robust data foundation is essential. Manufacturing produces vast amounts of structured and unstructured data—significantly more than industries like retail or financial services—and this data is growing exponentially year by year. To address data complexity challenges effectively in manufacturing settings, industrial-grade data fabrics play a crucial role by seamlessly integrating diverse data sources across factory automation systems to supply chain management platforms.

As companies gear up to implement generative AI solutions like Microsoft Copilot, technology experts such as Avanade are instrumental in assisting them with data preparation, exploring key use cases, and deploying applications effectively. By embracing these technologies thoughtfully, manufacturers can enhance productivity and efficiency significantly while positioning themselves for sustained success in the future.

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