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How BMW Used Pandemic Plant Stoppages to Boost AI


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BMW is using AI software to analyze photos from different stages of the assembly line, like this one at a plant in Dingolfing, Germany.

BMW used pandemic-related work stoppages as an opportunity to increase the use of artificial intelligence at its factories in Germany.

Credit: BMW AG

Automaker BMW used pandemic-related work stoppages as an opportunity to increase the use of artificial intelligence (AI) at its plants in Germany.

BMW's Matthias Schindler said he has installed AI-driven quality-control checks in many of the company's factories over the past three years. Schindler said the pandemic allowed his team to operate in stalled factories without interrupting production.

This past spring, Schindler dispatched teams to three plants in Bavaria to install AI-based software that automatically scans still images of car parts for defects as they move along assembly lines,  reducing the risk of expensive back-end repairs.

Automating additional quality-control checks could become increasingly critical as cars become more customizable.

Investors and industry analysts believe manufacturers investing in data analytics, AI, and advanced robotics could gain a competitive edge.

From The Wall Street Journal
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