What is Machine Learning?

Industrial robots have always required programming. A robotic arm can only move a part from position A to position B if it has very clear and precise instructions to do so. If you want a machine to do something that it hasn’t been explicitly programmed to do, however, you’re out of luck. At least, that’s been true for a majority of the time that robots and industrial machines have existed. But machine learning could allow robots and machines to carry out tasks without direct programming, which would greatly benefit manufacturing.

What is machine learning?

Machine learning is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a type of artificial intelligence that makes it possible for computers to learn new tasks over time. Instead of programming, machines use data from experiences to learn and develop. These computer programs are designed to adapt and develop in response to data.

Teaching machines to learn isn’t a simple task. Millions of years of evolution make it easy to teach humans new skills, but teaching computer programs to look for and effectively respond to patterns in data is a bit more challenging.

Machine learning and machine intelligence are more common than you might realize. In fact, you probably interact with it on a daily basis. Google’s search algorithm decides which search results to show you when you type in a question, and your social media news feeds are custom tailored by computers to fit your preferences and interests.

Of course, manufacturers are also trying to capitalize on this technology.

How does machine learning benefit manufacturing?

Machine intelligence is a crucial element of the Industrial Internet of Things. IIoT relies on gathering, storing, and effectively using data. This is exactly how machine learning works. The more data available, the greater the benefits.

With machine learning, individual computer programs use data to learn and improve. A smart factory would take these individual machines, connect them, and then optimizes the network.

As artificial intelligence improves manufacturers will benefit from more accurate decision making and improved performance on the factory floor. This article provides specific examples of how machine learning can improve manufacturing.

Of course, it doesn’t matter how well a computer program can learn if your machinery is on its last leg. IIoT and machine learning will reduce downtime in the future with preventative maintenance. But that doesn’t help you much right now. Contact us today for repair, reman, or maintenance on your Indramat machinery.