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4 Things Industry 4.0 -- May 6th 2024

4 things industry 4.0 May 06, 2024

Presented By:
Digital Factory Mastermind

"The ability to speak does not make you intelligent."
- Qui-Gon Jinn, The Phantom Menace


Happy (belated) Star Wars day! While looking for a quote to put above, I realized just how profound some of the lines from my favorite movie franchise are. While you're getting your week started, with whatever you have planned, just remember Yoda's wise words: "Try not. Do or do not. There is no try."

Ford reports loss on every EV sold in first quarter

In the first quarter of 2024, Ford reported a significant loss of $1.3 billion in its electric vehicle division, translating to an average loss of $132,000 per EV sold. This downturn occurred despite efforts to lower prices and ramp up investment in research. The total revenue from electric vehicle sales amounted to just $100 million, marking a substantial decline from the previous year. Although sectors like Ford Pro remain profitable, the company's overall financial health is under pressure, with projections indicating a potential $5 billion loss for the EV sector alone by year's end

Tesla Reverses Plans for Its Gigacasting Manufacturing Method

Tesla has suspended its innovative gigacasting technique for one-piece underbody manufacturing, opting instead for a more traditional three-piece approach. This change is aimed at avoiding the high initial costs and potential delays associated with the newer method. Originally planned for a new affordable car model, Tesla has now pivoted to utilizing its existing platforms for more cost-effective production. Amid challenges like falling sales and increased competition, this strategic shift sees Tesla focusing more on the development of autonomous vehicles rather than expanding its EV sales volume.

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Artificial Intelligence is Accelerating Manufacturing Growth

According to a recent study, 70% of manufacturers are already incorporating AI into their operations and 82% are planning to expand their AI budgets., recognizing AI as a crucial tool for boosting efficiency. However, successful implementation hinges on a robust data infrastructure, sufficient training for the workforce, and a clear roadmap for leveraging AI effectively.

What we've learned is the most important part of implementing AI, is having data to train your machine learning on. If you are not already connected to every device, collecting all of it's data, and storing it in a single source of truth, then you shouldn't be focusing on AI yet, because you'll have no data to get started with.

Skills Gap in Manufacturing

In a recent article by the Managing Director of GBQ in Cincinnati, Chad Williams, the pressing issue of the growing skills gap in the manufacturing industry is explored. As technology rapidly evolves, there's an urgent need for over 2.4 million skilled workers by 2028. Williams discusses how embracing technology, investing in robust training and education programs, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and collaborating with industry stakeholders are essential strategies for manufacturers. These efforts not only help close the skills gap but also enhance productivity, attract top-tier talent, and secure a competitive edge in the global market.

We have covered many times about how to recruit and retain "the employee of the future." The main element is enablement. All people in your organization, especially those on the platform, need to be enabled to solve their own problems. For legacy organizations, the other difficulty, which was addressed in this article, is training. As you digitally transform, your entire organization goes through a shift where many of your employees need to understand how their jobs change as you become smarter.

Industry 4.0 Highlights

The Limitations of Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) in Addressing AI Hallucinations

Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) is a technique designed to reduce hallucinations in AI by using retrieved documents to enhance the accuracy of responses, a method particularly useful for factual queries. Developed by Patrick Lewis, RAG promises improved traceability and reduced risk of erroneous information. However, it struggles with complex reasoning tasks and requires significant computational resources, which limits its effectiveness. Despite its benefits in specific scenarios, RAG is not a complete solution to AI's tendency to generate false information, and its effectiveness varies depending on the complexity of the task at hand.

Google lays off staff from Flutter, Dart, and Python

Google has conducted layoffs affecting several key teams, including those working on Flutter, Dart, and Python, just weeks before its annual I/O developer conference. The company emphasized that these layoffs were part of strategic reorganizations aimed at enhancing efficiency and focusing on major product priorities. Despite these cuts, Google plans to introduce new updates for Flutter at the conference. The layoffs were not comprehensive across the company but targeted specific teams and roles to streamline operations and reduce bureaucracy. Affected employees have been encouraged to apply for other positions within Google, with support including outplacement services and severance packages. The Python team notably faced significant reductions, affecting developers integral to Google's internal Python operations and open-source contributions.

TruFood Manufacturing combining with US-based Bar Bakers

TruFood Manufacturing, a US-based contract manufacturer, has merged with Bar Bakers, a nutritional snacks maker also based in the US. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Michael Buick, CEO of TruFood, will lead the expanded company, while Bar Bakers' founder Harold Rothman will join the board, and its president, Gary Jacobs, will serve as COO. This merger marks a strategic expansion for TruFood into the nutritional snack market, broadening its product portfolio and manufacturing capabilities, including extending its geographical footprint to the West Coast. The combination is supported by TruFood's parent company, Mubadala Investment Company, and aims to enhance customer service and accelerate growth. Both companies express a strong alignment in values and envision significant benefits from their integration in serving customers and stakeholders.

Learning Lens

The Querynomicon: An Introduction to SQL for Weary Data Scientists


"The Querynomicon" is an SQL tutorial that could be highly beneficial for professionals in manufacturing and Industry 4.0. SQL skills are crucial in these sectors for managing and analyzing large datasets, such as production metrics, supply chain logistics, and quality control data. This tutorial offers a user-friendly approach to learning SQL, which can help in optimizing operational efficiency, predicting maintenance needs, and enhancing decision-making through data-driven insights. The integration of SQL with programming languages like Python also supports advanced data analysis and automation in industrial settings.

Byte-Sized Brilliance

Powering a Lightsaber... with a battery?!?

Did you know that powering a real-life lightsaber might require more than just Jedi training? Diving into the physics behind these iconic Star Wars weapons suggests that melting through a starship door, like Qui-Gon Jinn does, demands a staggering 305 horsepower—that's sports car territory! If you were to calculate the battery capacity necessary for such power, it would need to store a whopping 8.2 x 10^9 joules of energy. We're talking about a battery weighing about 25 tons and as big as a small car, just to keep the lightsaber humming for ten hours. Unless we start seeing Jedi with forklift certifications, we might need to leave this one in the realm of fantasy. May the Fourth be with your physics calculations!

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