IBM and ABB develop AI assistant for manufacturing quality assurance

Working with ABB, IBM has developed a new AI assistant to help manufacturers detect defects on the production line.

The Cognitive Visual Inspection System is connected to ABB’s industrial monitoring system, ABB Ability, and will help manufacturers improve speed, yield, and uptime, according to the company.

The system works by transferring images from an ultra-high-definition (UHD) camera to a section of IBM’s Watson software that has been trained to detect and classify production faults in real time.

According to IBM, Watson can inspect parts up to five times faster than production workers, and can detect faults not visible to the human eye. Furthermore, the system can increase both production speed and yield, as it enables manufacturers to potentially inspect every product coming off the line, allowing them to reject or rework only faulty products rather than complete batches.

ABB also hopes to utilise Watson in electricity generation, to predict electricity demand based on weather patterns.

New qualification for food industry professionals

SAI Global have announced a new qualification for food industry professionals that ensures Australian food industry professionals will have the necessary training that can assist them develop a clear career path.

Announced at the 22nd Australian HACCP Conference, the new Diploma of Food Safety Quality Management is specifically designed for professionals working with the food industry in Operations, Food Safety and Quality Assurance roles.

Advice given to quality and safety decision makers in food manufacturing, service/retail, regulatory and research institutions relating to strategic and tactical approaches are now required in the rapidly changing food industry due to new products and evolving technologies.

In creating the new qualification in Australia, Chief Commercial Officer of SAI Global Paul Butcher says the food manufacturing and grocery sector is still a vital industry providing jobs for over 332,000 people nationally.

“In 2014, it was identified that 36.6 percent of Australian employers had jobs requiring vocational qualifications, and this new Diploma will help address this need for training, helping food industry professionals develop a clear career path,” Butcher said.

The new diploma was launched in response to a growing gap in the Food Processing Training Package qualifications for food industry quality and compliance professionals, in addition to filling the skills shortages in food safety auditing and quality assurance roles.

In order to encourage young emerging managers into the industry, the new qualification ensures a consistent standard is maintained so that Australia continues to be a modern, safe, reliable and sustainable producer of food.