Envisioning the Manufacturing in 2040: AI for autonomous factories

BeChained
4 min readFeb 5, 2024
Can a steel manufacturing plant be robotised?

Introduction

Today, the push for sustainability and energy efficiency has never been more critical. As industries worldwide grapple with the environmental and economic impacts of carbon emissions and wasted energy, a groundbreaking solution emerges: AI.

An AI-powered platform designed to eliminate wasted energy, cut energy costs, and reduce carbon emissions for manufacturers is key.

The differentiation comes along the capacity to execute the improvements, directly, but supervised by human operators.

This kind of solution not only improves energy efficiency, but also paves the way for Industry 5.0, where humans and AI collaborate to drive production excellence.

The Energy Efficiency Challenge

Manufacturing has long been a vital part of our global economy. However, it also consumes a substantial portion of the world’s energy, contributing significantly to 16% of carbon emissions.

Hence, finding ways to optimise energy usage, with a conscious and more responsible consumption, while maintaining productivity has been a constant challenge.

Traditional manufacturing plants, especially those less automated, struggle to adapt to the fast-paced demands of Industry 4.0 and beyond. They often lack the resource metering (i.e. electricity or natural gas, water, and more) , and the advanced technologies and data-driven insights needed to optimise energy consumption. This is where BeChained steps in.

Heavy industries are accountable for at least 16% of worldwide emissions.

The Vision

BeChained envisions a future where industrial manufacturers can program production and fine-tune process governance through AI.

At the core of this innovative solution are Reinforcement Learning models that are currently driving robots in highly automated facilities, such as the automotive industry.

These models enable to learn from real-time data (i.e. electricity consumption, machine’s settings and production batches), make autonomous decisions based on price arbitrage logic (where data come from energy trading markets) and minimum carbon emissions, continuously execute improvements, and plan the most cost-effective production strategies for the future.

Executing the improvements, i.e. the optimal set-points to minimise the consumption, is the most powerful mean to deliver continuously results in real-time and not depending only from historical events.

Key Benefits of BeChained

  1. Energy Efficiency: AI algorithms (like BeChained’s) monitor and optimise energy consumption in real time, identifying opportunities for energy savings. By minimising waste and optimising energy usage, manufacturing plants can significantly reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint.
  2. Cost Savings: As the solution optimises energy consumption, manufacturers can expect substantial cost savings. By making data-driven decisions on energy usage, they can continuously cut expenses and improve their bottom line.
  3. Reduced Carbon Emissions: As the solution focuses on minimising carbon emissions, it aligns with global sustainability goals. Manufacturers using the platform can not only reduce their carbon footprint at product level, but also benefit from incentives and reductions in carbon-related costs.
  4. Digitalisation of Industrial Plants: the AI-powered solution accelerates the digitalisation of manufacturing facilities, bridging the gap between highly automated and less automated plants. Even traditionally manual processes benefit from AI-driven improvements.
  5. Preparation for Industry 5.0: Industry 5.0 is on the horizon, where humans and AI work together to optimise manufacturing processes further. The solution prepares industrial plants for this future by enhancing process governance and automation. This is the plant robotisation.

Human-Centric Approach

One of the standout features is the commitment to keeping humans at the heart of process supervision and control.

While AI plays a pivotal role in optimising energy efficiency and production processes, it does not replace human expertise. Instead, it empowers humans to focus on improving products, monitor quality of output, and delivering the best business strategies.

Humans supervise for autonomous industrial processes.

Conclusion

With such a solution, BeChained represents a game-changer for the manufacturing industry, providing the means to eliminate wasted energy, cut energy costs, and reduce carbon emissions.

By harnessing the power of AI, BeChained not only optimises energy consumption, but also prepares industrial plants for the era of Industry 5.0 and the evolution of the future works.

With humans and AI working together, the future of manufacturing is greener, more efficient, and more cost-effective than ever before. BeChained is not just a tool; it’s a vision for a sustainable and prosperous manufacturing future.

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BeChained

AI to eliminate wasted energy in manufacturing through energy efficiency & unlocking demand-response opportunities