Anomaly Detection in Manufacturing Will Save You Time and Money
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Whether you’re making custom-made soap with one of those 100-year-old manual presses or are in charge of a complex metal smelting process, every equipment malfunction along the way can be a massive spanner in the works.
Therefore, being able to foresee and prevent undesirable events before they can happen is nothing short of a manufacturing superpower.
Well, suppose your business has been a victim of unexpected equipment failures, power shortages, and machines acting up (which everyone’s business has, of course). In that case, anomaly detection can be just the thing that you can rely on to get you through these challenging times.
Or, instead, to prevent the tough times from even coming about.
In this article, we’ll talk about anomaly detection – a particular form of machine learning dedicated to weeding out undesirable and potentially dangerous ‘behavior’ on the part of machines and complex systems.
As you will see in the paragraphs below, successful implementation of this principle can make the manufacturing process more efficient and help you spend less money, resources, and time tampering around with faulty fuses and other preventable technical issues.
Read on to learn more.
What is Anomaly Detection?
Anomaly detection, as its name itself suggests, is a process that involves a smart algorithm that figures out any potential, unwanted or unexpected oscillations in behavior on the part of a machine or some other complex mechanism.
Despite its high-tech-sounding name, the great thing about anomaly detection is that it’s applicable to pretty much any process – whether it’s something as complex as an IT security system or the conveyor belt production of bottled milk.
In the sections below, we will list the most important ways in which anomaly detection can save you both time and money.
Smart (and Automated) Performance Analytics
Performing constant analytics is one of the most prominent ways of reducing the maintenance and other unexpected costs of running any automated process.
The more pieces of valuable information you’re able to gather regarding a manufacturing process, the easier it will be to pinpoint a problem. Also, tackling it before it has the chance to rear its ugly head is also greatly facilitated, so to speak.
That said, there is a slight problem with these analytics. Without a way to automate the analytics part of the equation, what you have to do is have a number of employees do this manually. This can take a lot of time, resources, and perhaps most importantly – a big chunk of your company’s talent pool, which can be better utilized elsewhere.
This is where anomaly detection comes in.
Other than simply gathering data in an automated way, being able also to analyze it and get results with the help of AI represents a massive sigh of relief for IT technicians and business owners.
With automated anomaly detection, as long as you have an Internet connection and enough electricity to power it (which is not that much even for the most demanding systems), you can get highly-precise results 24/7.
Enhanced security breach prevention and threat aversion
Over the last couple of years, the number of cyber attacks on public social networks, businesses, and everything IT has been increasing exponentially.
Some of the rougher data breaches that took place only recently, for example, resulted in the theft of billions of important data records, with millions of disgruntled users as a result.
The thing is, since imagining a major business that doesn’t have an online presence is pretty much impossible – ensuring the security of these cyber premises is of great importance.
Anomaly detection is pretty much the perfect tool for this delicate task.
Since an anomaly detection system can run uninterrupted 24/7, all year round, it will be able to pick up on and deflect any and all potential security breaches. This way, you will save yourself some major headaches in terms of dealing with lawsuits and angry users, but also – a lot of time, money, and your top analyst’s work hours.
Hidden performance opportunities
The use of anomaly detection algorithms is a method that already has a well-proven track record of success in averting online and offline disasters.
That said, an anomaly detection is a fantastic tool for companies because it can also be used proactively.
The thing is, figuring out patterns of ‘machine and process behavior’ (and doing so automatically, quickly, and efficiently) is what anomaly detection is all about. Thus, you can also use it to track the progress of an ongoing project you’re engaged in.
For example, if you’re running a content writing agency and you’re trying to find the best SEO keywords for your texts – getting an anomaly detection algorithm to scour through the millions of points of online data to find the solution can be a massive asset.
With the help of anomaly detection, you can ditch the keywords that aren’t performing that well and incorporate into your content more of those that are peaking in popularity.
Also, if you have a metal smelting operation going on, a metal process control with ai, such as the one that you can get with anomaly protection, can save you a lot of time and money.
More Value for Less Money
As widespread and popular as anomaly detection is justifiably becoming, truth to be told – it’s still not the most inexpensive tool in the world to get a hold of as a business owner.
That said, as more and more different developers enter the market for this AI-powered machine-learning software, these prices have already started dropping significantly.
If you look at the situation from a simple monetary perspective – purchasing one of these systems, even if the price is still a tad steep – will save you money in the long run.
Just take into account the losses due to lack of cyber protection, zero advanced error detection, and poor and inefficient ‘manual’ analytics.
All of these three pesky birds can be whacked easily with a single well-developed anomaly detection system.
A business that means to succeed always has to bring its A-game to the market.
That said, a bit of automated self-awareness in the shape of an anomaly detection system built in the framework of the company can be of massive help, too. (Not that the market or your competition needs to know about it, of course.)
The more well-rounded disaster protection system you have and the easier you can analyze the success rate of your company’s steps. That’s the biggest value you’re getting from anomaly detection. With an unbiased, data-driven view of what you’re doing as a business, you can easily change course for the better and tackle unforeseen circumstances on the spot.
Rick Seidl is a digital marketing specialist with a bachelor’s degree in Digital Media and communications, based in Portland, Oregon. He carries a burning passion for digital marketing, social media, small business development, and establishing its presence in a digital world. He is currently quenching his thirst through writing about digital marketing and business strategies for Find Digital Agency.