AI@EIF 2021: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Author photo: Florian Güldner
ByFlorian Güldner
Technology Trends

The ARC Industry Forum Europe 2021 “Accelerating Digital Transformation in a Post-COVID World” was held as a virtual event due to the ongoing epidemic. The digital event attracted participants from all sectors of industrial production. In this series of blogs, we are presenting the highlights from our forum.

You would like to watch a session again or missed one? The presentation and panel discussion videos are now available on ARC Industry Forum Europe 2021 ( August 19 by clicking on “Presentations”. Furthermore, you can still visit sponsor booths by clicking on “Exhibit Hall”. ARC and the Sponsors have also uploaded valuable videos and reports on this platform for you to add to your “vfairs briefcase”. If you attended the ARC Industry Forum in May, you can still register on the platform. 

Session on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Advanced companies already left the conceptual phase far behind and are applying AI in various steps in manufacturing. This session showed various examples of use cases for AI and how it used today.

For AI, the usual suspects are quality control or predictive maintenance, which provide easy and quick return on invest, but the session clearly showed that the area of applications today is already much broader, including supply chain, root cause analysis, time series analysis, and much more. Microsoft shared how they provide the backbone for many operations.  IBM shared used cases of a cognitive supply chain, which adapts to disruptive events as well as changes in the company processes, and who made it.  Siemens shared detailed use case of electronics manufacturing quality inspection. Phoenix Contact illustrated how they were able to detect anomalies and do root cause analysis using only 3-5 percent of all IO signals.  Pfizer provided insight into their current transformation process, featuring examples with Natural Language Processing for maintenance.


Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence Workshop

AI is not the problem. In fact, it is the 80 to 90 percent of work needed around the actual AI part that determine the success or failure of an AI project. This was the base of the AI workshop.

Compared to past technology adoptions, we now have a much better understanding of these challenges, such as the human factor during introduction or maintenance to lower lifecycle costs.  The experts emphasized how important the collaboration between different teams is, and that many of them also more frequently work with psychologists to enable a successful change management.  Change management is needed for AI, as it cuts across functions, brings together different stakeholders, and impacts business processes and structure.  A clear learning was that it is important for end users to reduce overall complexity with AI and not just shift complexity from blue collar workers to white collar. 

We worked intensely to create a guideline to solve three of the top AI challenges and were able to share them with the audience. Our experts from Voith, Philip Morris, Siemens, and Nnaisense combined not only deep AI know-how, but also decades of plant floor experience.

We would like to thank all experts, panelists, and presenters of the “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning " session at ARC Advisory Group European Industry Forum 2021. And a special thanks to all our sponsors: Global sponsor: Siemens; Gold sponsors: ANDRITZ and OPC Foundation; and Silver sponsors: Capgemini, CC-Link, Optimistik Orange Cyberdefense, PHOENIX CONTACT, and RapidMiner.

Presentations and panel discussion videos are available until August 19 for you watch at your convenience. We encourage you and your colleagues to login or register and watch the recordings on our platform: ARC Industry Forum Europe 2021 (



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