Is AI the missing piece in connector automation?

19th February 2024
Sheryl Miles

Connector manufacturer PEI-Genesis has released the third episode of PEI Connects, its podcast focused on raising awareness of electrical connectors in industry.

In the latest episode, host Zafar Jamati delves into the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on connector automation. The episode features an interview with special guest Lee Slater, European Operations Manager at PEI-Genesis.

The episode kicks off with Jamati addressing the question on everyone's minds: Is AI in automation just a buzzword, or is it a game-changer for industry? He provides an anecdote of his own experience of visiting the highly automated customer fulfilment centre of online British grocery retailer Ocado and describes the way autonomous guided vehicles were used in that application to improve efficiency.

The discussion with Slater provides compelling insights, emphasising the symbiotic relationship between AI and human expertise in optimising warehouse processes. Slater shares examples of how PEI-Genesis has used AI to improve the component assembly process.

"An example of how we’ve integrated AI into our processes is the use of an intelligent staking machine,” explained Slater. “It presses connector components together with precision and offers valuable insights through AI. By tracking force and component height, we identify and predict maintenance needs and ensure optimal performance without dismantling the machine.

“Using AI in automation is not about replacing humans but working in harmony, optimising warehouse processes, and ensuring the most efficient routes for assembly,” continued Slater. “The marriage of human expertise with AI is shaping the future of connector manufacturing.”

“AI is not just streamlining processes; it's enabling more customisation in the connector industry, balancing human skill with being able to deliver custom solutions at scale,” explained host Zafar Jamati. “For companies like PEI-Genesis, whose high levels of automation have allowed it to offer a minimum order quantity of just one product with short lead times, AI may, in time, improve that offer further.”

You can hear episode three of the PEI Connects podcast on podcast platforms, including Amazon, Apple, Google, or Spotify.

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