Have you heard talk of AI in the news, or on social media lately? Artificial intelligence is certainly a term that is cropping up in articles and posts with more frequency these days, as the technology continues to develop, sometimes at a seemingly rapid pace. Maybe you’ve even heard about ChatGPT, the AI chatbot developed by OpenAI and launched in late 2022. ChatGPT is capable of writing essays, creating poems, and having a conversation, which has many people concerned about the future of artificial intelligence, and indeed, the future of many occupations. That’s why this month, we have decided to take a deep dive into AI technology, and what it could mean for sheet metal machinery and the wider industry. Keep reading to find out more, plus where to go for machinery repair experts.

sheet metal machinery robotics

What is the Definition of AI?

The acronym AI stands for Artificial Intelligence and refers to intelligence that is displayed by machines. Wikipedia defines this artificial intelligence as the process of ‘perceiving, synthesising and inferring information’. To be considered AI, the type of intelligence must be displayed by a machine, in contrast with that displayed by humans or animals.

What is the AI Effect?

The AI effect is a phenomenon that occurs when artificial intelligence tasks or capabilities become so mainstream that they cease to be considered AI at all. This means that the technology or the intelligence from the artificial machine becomes routine or a part of everyday use. For example, things such as online targeted advertisements on search engines, and automated recommendations on Youtube or Netflix are applications of artificial intelligence that we take for granted each day.

What is AI capable of?

This is a question with many broad and varied answers because, well, the capabilities of artificial intelligence are so broad and varied. There are several broad categories of capabilities of AI, which are also known as goals, or sub-problems. These include reasoning and problem-solving, perception, and social intelligence, among others. We will be focusing on just two of these categories.

Reasoning and Problem-Solving: This is a capability of artificial intelligence that revolves around the algorithms that imitate the reasoning and problem-solving processes of humans.

Knowledge Representation: This is a capability of artificial intelligence that allows AI programs to make deductions, and answer questions intelligently. This is an exceptionally complex concept and involves ontologies, which are the ‘set of objects relations, concepts, and properties’ which have been described so that software programs (AI) are able to interpret them. This is basically the knowledge base that AI programs access in order to answer questions or make deductions.

Where Does Sheet Metal Come In?

Sheet metal fabrication falls under the umbrella of the manufacturing industry, which is one of the areas of increasing interest and possibility in terms of artificial intelligence. It can even be said that AI technology and manufacturing naturally go hand in hand, due to the way that machinery and humans work together closely and collaborate in manufacturing environments as a matter of course.

How Can AI be Used in Sheet Metal Fabrication?

The possibilities for and applications of artificial intelligence in the sheet metal industry are many. There are several general categories that are used to describe the ways that AI can impact and be incorporated into sheet metal fabrication. Two of these categories are explained below.

Robotics: When you hear or read the word robot, no doubt many different things come to mind. But in this context, robotics refers to artificially intelligent industrial or manufacturing robots, which are capable of completing operations in fabrication settings. You may have also heard the term cobot, which refers to a collaborative robot. Cobots are capable of carrying out tasks, such as welding, and they are designed to work in collaboration, and in close proximity with humans. Thus, cobots contribute to the fabrication or manufacturing process, while humans are still involved.

Logistics and Supply Chain: Artificial intelligence can also be used for the logistics side of the sheet metal industry, as well as for managing supply chains. AI programs can assist with logistics by analysing critical data, and automating logistics processes. The result of this is often greater efficiency in tracking and predicting demand, for example. Further, artificial intelligence is capable of managing supply chains, including capacity forecasting and stocktaking. When these processes are automated thanks to AI, this can lead to greater efficiency, and allow human workers to focus their time on other critical aspects of their job.

Do You Need Sheet Metal Machinery?

Look no further than ACRA Machinery. We are experts in sheet metal machinery, and in the sheet metal industry. Backed by 42 years of continuous experience, we are proud to offer you professional expertise and expert machinery repair, alongside fantastic customer service.

So, whether you need machinery maintenance, repair, or sales, we are here to help. Call us at 03 9794 6675, or fill out our online contact form and we will be happy to get back to you.