Technology Record - Issue 31: Winter 2023

100 is not a new development,” says Floyd. “For the last 30 years, manufacturers have been harnessing the power of AI, in the form of machine learning and deep learning, to automate processes, improve efficiency or quality and reduce costs. “These early applications laid the foundation for the more advanced and sophisticated uses that we see today. With the introduction of generative AI, manufacturers now have access to advanced AI technologies that enable more natural interactions between humans and machines, that can speed up digital solution development, enable and skill workers faster, and generate synthetic data to power digital twins.” One resource that manufacturers can use to accelerate their digital transformation is Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing. “With Microsoft Azure IoT Operations, Azure Digital Twins and Azure HPC, manufacturers can create data representations of physical products, assets and factories,” says Floyd. “They can simulate different scenarios for product design optimisation, process improvement or factory setup decisions, with greater speed and with reduced data sampling. “Microsoft generative AI capabilities are already embedded across several products. Microsoft 365, for example, provides manufacturers with powerful AI copilots within the different tools they already leverage for their work, such as Microsoft Excel, Teams or Outlook. But for many manufacturers that have already advanced on their data transformation and want to tackle complex use cases with generative AI, we offer the industryleading portfolio of AI services with Azure AI, including the capability to build your own AI assistant leveraging Azure Open AI Service large language models.” Digital twin technology and AI tools also allow manufacturing companies to simulate performance based on environmental parameters at different stages of an asset’s lifecycle. This enables real-time monitoring and control, and delivers the ability to learn and improve systems over time using AI and machine learning. Bridgestone, one of the world’s largest tyre and rubber manufacturers, and Strabag, a European-based construction services FEATURE “ The power of the digital twin as the organisational principle for enterprise data is undeniable” Bridgestone is leveraging digital twin technology and AI tools to improve its processes Photo: Bridgestone