Aim to reach benefits of AI and ML to Indian MSME sector
Researchers at IIT Kharagpur are on a mission to make Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) applications affordable for India’s industrial sector, including MSMEs.
An innovative system consisting of a low-cost imaging device and an AI-enabled software for real-time metrological inspection has been developed as part of an initiative by the Centre of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing Technology at IIT Kharagpur. The system can be used in the production line to check the quality of jobs and get instant results.
The AI-enabled software will enhance the image quality captured by the low-cost camera on a par with a high-quality camera output and process the image in real time. It will also automate the acceptance or rejection of production jobs and deliver the outcome for real-time managerial insights. With an accuracy close to 98%, the solution can measure the dimensional features of the job and can also check for scratches, dents etc.
It takes only approximately 12 seconds for the analysis to be complete. The accuracy check and timeliness of the solution have been guaranteed by testing it on different types of jobs. Researchers are working towards reducing the time further.
“The MSMEs mostly rely on manual inspection of jobs produced in a batch where a few samples are randomly selected and checked manually. Accordingly, the entire batch is either rejected or accepted, which lacks effectiveness and increases the cost of production. The potential of the developed solution can be leveraged to inspection of each job in a batch in real time and at a minimum cost,” said Surjya K. Pal, the head of Centre of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing Technology.
The research group also included Debashish Chakravarty, research scholar Debasish Mishra, technical staff Pravanjan Nayak, and intern Ayan Banerjee from Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College, who has applied for a patent for the system and made it available for MSMEs to license the technology.
“Automation is one of the key aspects of digitalisation and is also the need of the hour. The vision of manufacturers revolves around three things — how fast, how better and how cheaper. The first highlights a higher rate of production, the second implies the use of innovation in manufacturing and the third aims at reducing the cost,” Pal said.
India has been making fast inroads into AI and ML but the MSME sector, which employs more than 100 million people in the country contributing close to 30% of India’s GDP and 50% of export revenue, is still outside its ambit. “This is the gap which IIT Kharagpur aims to bridge while making low-cost Industry 4.0 solutions across all industrial sectors and accelerate the pace towards Atma Nirbhar Bharat,” Pal said.
Industry 4.0 will open up new career avenues by connecting the manufacturing system with digital technologies
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