Challenges in product creation can be solved with the help of artificial intelligence
Posting challenges, finding solutions, and gathering know-how: this is what the AI Marketplace promises. For the past year, experts from science and industry have been working on a platform for AI in product development. The platform is now live in a beta version and brings together AI experts, suppliers, and users.
Whether it’s automating technology scouting or optimising design data, the potential of AI in product creation is manifold. CLAAS, an internationally active agricultural machinery manufacturer, has recognised these possibilities.
The company is testing a special use case for the integration of AI in computer-aided design in the AI Marketplace, an initiative of the leading-edge cluster It’s OWL. The project is one of six pilot projects in which companies are working together with research institutions in the AI Marketplace on AI solutions for specific use cases.
The topics range from intelligent product monitoring and smart vehicle diagnosis to AI-supported manufacturability analysis. In addition to CLAAS, companies including Diebold Nixdorf, Düspohl Maschinenbau, Hella Gutmann Solutions, Westaflex and Ubermetrics Technologies are also involved in the pilot projects.
However, countless other partners will benefit from the AI Marketplace. After all, providers, users, and experts can jointly develop and exchange AI solutions on the platform of the same name.
“The AI Marketplace offers companies a central place to solve their product development challenges with the help of AI,” says Leon Özcan, Project Coordinator and Research Associate at Heinz Nixdorf Institute (Germany), part of Paderborn University. “AI providers gain direct access to their customers in this way.”
What sets the AI Marketplace apart
The AI Marketplace platform will be successively expanded by functionalities in the course of the project. Initially, users will be offered a matching function: for example, companies can post challenges while AI providers create competence profiles.
A subsequent matching of challenges with competence profiles brings together suitable platform actors, who can now jointly develop solutions.
“Our competitive analysis has shown that our concept of a marketplace for AI in product creation addresses a blank spot on the competitive map,” says Ruslan Bernijazov, Technical Project Coordinator and Research Associate at Fraunhofer Institute for Mechatronic Systems Design IEM. “Although there are numerous solutions that address concrete problems from product creation, there is currently no central point of contact for solution providers, AI experts, and users.”
In addition to matching, the next step is to create a protected data room for development and test data in order to continuously improve AI applications and adapt them to customer needs.
Here, the AI Marketplace relies on certified standards that guarantee data sovereignty while forming the basis for fair cooperation. An app store for AI solutions is also to be added, as well as a range of standardised AI building blocks that can be combined as required and used to develop new AI solutions.
More than a platform
The AI Marketplace already offers free services with which small and medium-sized enterprises in particular can tap into the potential of artificial intelligence in product creation.
By means of a Potential Analysis, structured application possibilities for AI in companies can be identified. In addition to concrete AI use cases, companies also receive recommendations for action for implementation. Using these, manufacturing companies can optimise their development capacities and shorten development cycles.
Companies can find out whether they are ready for the application of artificial intelligence in the AI Readiness Check on the AI Marketplace. In addition to determining the maturity level, companies receive helpful tips here on how to best prepare for the use of AI in product development.
In addition, companies can have their current corporate data governance assessed by the AI Marketplace with the help of a Data Check-Up. As a result, companies immediately receive a classification of their maturity level as well as concrete tips and information on how they can improve their corporate data governance so that nothing stands in the way of the use of AI applications.
A large network is behind the AI Marketplace
The success of the platform and its services is guaranteed by a consortium of 19 research institutions, networks, and companies, whose nucleus is It’s OWL. In this technology network, 200 companies and research institutions are jointly developing new technologies for tomorrow’s production.
Other networks also ensure a broader impact. prostep ivip Association, for example, bundles know-how in product development, while the International Data Spaces Association (IDSA) – both members of FIWARE Foundation – ensures secure data spaces.
Furthermore, the open-source platform FIWARE and the platform operator Inno-Focus are leaders in their fields. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (ML) techniques are increasingly being incorporated in architectures powered by FIWARE to support the adoption of smarter decisions, going a step further in the automation of processes.
The AI Marketplace project is funded until December 2022 by the innovation competition “Artificial Intelligence as a Driver for Economically Relevant Ecosystems” of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).
To learn more about our work and how you can get involved, visit the AI Marketplace webpage.
Hendrik Fahrenwald is a Marketing Manager at It’s OWL.
Header Image: Image provided courtesy of It’s OWL.