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AI and blockchain contribute to more efficient processes, lower costs and greater security. According to Essy Dahlin, Digital Strategy Advisor at Sogeti, combining these technologies is the only way to keep hackers out in the future.
What is the cost to industry of downtime?
– Gartner estimates that the cost of downtime for factories amounts to about five percent of their productive capacity, but many lose as much as 20 percent. And it’s not just about the direct costs – downtime also causes additional costs for administration, materials and lost revenue. It can also cause late deliveries, so in the longer term, downtime is likely to have a negative impact on the brand. In other words, you easily reach large sums if you look at the total losses. The International Society of Automation estimates the cost of industrial downtime globally at $ 647 billion each year.
In what way can AI predict and prevent downtime?
– AI is both an umbrella term for a variety of technologies and a conceptual term for machines that learn and act like humans. The AI in everyday use is the former, also called narrow AI, which includes techniques such as computer vision, deep learning and machine learning. In preventive maintenance, a lot of this involves analysing data to identify how different machines behave before breaking down. Then the system can warn you, enabling you to replace a component well in advance. If subcontractors connect to the system, they may also receive advance information that a new component is needed, so they can deliver it on time.
Another technology with great potential for industry is blockchain. How does it work?
– In short, this is something called distributed ledger technology. It is a network of different computers called nodes that verify each new transaction in the database. In other words, the network itself has built-in security. Through blockchain, you can connect different elements in an ecosystem where many parties are involved and create a communication framework.
How can this technology be used to create value?
– Blockchain makes it possible to track both raw materials and products along the entire logistics chain. You can get instant information about the products that meet certain requirements and have arrived in the right place and on time. Increasing demands on environmental awareness and ethical manufacturing methods make traceability extra important. Blockchain can also help determine if a particular machine has received the service requirements laid down in regulations and agreements.
What happens if you combine AI and blockchain?
– AI and blockchain will go hand in hand for increasing security. With a blockchain platform, you can increase your data security, as all nodes must be in agreement. Machine learning is used to identify and prevent fraud. If you combine machine learning and blockchain you get extremely strong models. I personally believe that the combination of the two technologies is the only way to cope with the cyberattacks of the future.
How should companies approach cyber security and the new technologies?
– According to a 2018 survey, 81 percent of surveyed manufacturing companies are concerned about the security risks that digitalisation entails, for example in a smart factory built around IoT, but only 37 percent believe their internal security programmes are effective. This is a very urgent concern. But you really have no choice – if you do not digitalise manufacturing you will be uncompetitive within a few years. Instead, you have to be fully aware of the risks and manage them accordingly. As you digitalise your core processes, cyber security will become an increasingly important core competency.
Security is one of the focus areas for Underhåll, the Maintenance Fair, which takes place on 10-13 March 2020 at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, Gothenburg. Essy Dahlin is one of the keynote speakers at the Maintenance Summit conference, which is jointly organised by Underhåll and the Swedish National Maintenance Organisation. You can find more information about Underhåll, the Swedish Maintenance Fair and its programme here en.underhall.se