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IIT Kharagpur Researchers Develop Low-cost Artificial Intelligence-enabled Industry 4.0 Software for Real-time Inspections

The innovation introduced by IIT Kharagpur researchers takes only approximately 12 seconds for the analyses to be complete

IIT Kharagpur researchers at the Centre of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing Technology, in a bid to make artificial intelligence and machine learning applications affordable for India’s industrial sector including MSMEs, have developed a new innovation. An innovative system consisting of a low-cost imaging device and artificial intelligence-enabled software for real-time metrological inspection has been built by the researchers. The developed system can be utilized in the production line to check the quality of the jobs and get instant results.

Explaining the benefit that MSMEs will draw from such an innovation, Prof. Surjya K Pal said: “The MSMEs mostly rely on manual inspection of the jobs produced in a batch where a few samples are randomly selected and checked manually. Accordingly, the entire batch is either rejected or accepted, which lacks effectiveness and increases the cost of production. The potential of the developed solution can be leveraged to the inspection of each job in a batch, in real-time, and at a very minimum cost.”

This AI-enabled software will enhance the image quality captured by the low-cost camera at par with a high-quality camera output and process the image in real-time. Further, it automates the acceptance or rejection of production jobs and delivers the outcome for real-time managerial insights.

With an accuracy close to 98%, the solution can measure the dimensional features of the job, and also it can inspect the presence of scratches, dents, etc., in a job. It takes only approximately 12 seconds for the analyses to be complete. The accuracy check and timeliness of the solution have been guaranteed by testing it on different types of jobs. Researchers are working further to reduce time.

The research group included Prof. Surjya K Pal, Prof. Debashish Chakravarty, research scholar Debasish Mishra, technical staff Pravanjan Nayak, and intern Ayan Banerjee from Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College, who has filed a patent for the system and made it available for MSMEs to license the technology.

“Automation is one of the key aspects of digitalization and is also the need of the hour. The vision of manufacturers revolves around three things that are how fast can manufacturing be performed, how better, and how cheaper? The first highlights a higher rate of production, the second implies the use of innovation in manufacturing and the third aims at reducing the cost,” remarked Prof. Pal, the lead of Centre of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing Technology.

While India has been making fast inroads in the domain of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, it is the capital intensive and service industries which are able to put the applications to their vantage. The MSME sector, which employs more than 100 million people in the country contributing close to 30% of India’s GDP and 50% of export revenue, is still outside the ambit of industry-scale adoption of AI & ML.

“This is the gap which IIT Kharagpur aims to bridge while making low-cost Industry 4.0 solutions across all industrial sectors and accelerate the pace towards Atma Nirbhar Bharat,” he added.

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