An interview with Gary Hilton, Chief Technical Integration Lead, Boeing | Internet of Business

In the build up to Internet of Manufacturing UK , taking place on the 14-15 May 2019 at Farnborough International Conference Centre, our team caught up with Gary Hilton , the Chief Technical Integration Lead at Boeing, to discuss the impact of Industry 4.0 on the manufacturing sector.
Which key technologies that you believe will transform industry over the next 2 years?
I believe the key technologies that will transform industry in the next 2 years are: Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, real time industrial factory networks, Discrete Event Simulation Models & Factory Digital Twins.
What are the main challenges that companies are facing when implementing digital technologies?
In an industrial environment the key challenges are: availability of key resources for testing ie. time, people, machines. Adoption of digital technologies in an existing established factory assembly or fabrication line. Incorporating all requirements from multiple programs to satisfy one size fits all requests.
“The key challenges to AI reaching its full potential is focused on data collection”
Is there anything in particular you would like to see happen to speed this process along?
Leverage research sites like the AMRC to de-risk and accelerate deployments. The AMRC has the tools and resources to model a factory environment. This allows time for ideas to be explored and solutions hardened for production use.
With AI having the potential to truly transform and optimize the UK Manufacturing sector, what are the key challenges you believe will stand in the way of the AI reaching its full potential?
I believe the key challenges to AI reaching its full potential is focused on data collection. There are literally thousands of data tags that can be captured from robotics and other automation equipment. Generally a company only captures a very small subset of this data to form data blocks for production use. The other data tags are simply not collected. In order for AI to be leveraged to its full potential all of the data needs to be made available to identify data patterns for decisions. Collecting this amount of data puts a strain on a standard factory network. Full factory network upgrades may be required and new data collection strategies formed to truly harness the benefit of AI.
“For AI to be leveraged to its full potential all of the data needs to be made available to identify data patterns for decisions”
What are you currently working on or are most excited about?
I am currently working on a factory digital twin for Boeing Sheffield and a digital tooling supply chain with accompanied tooling digital twin. I believe the ability to leverage virtual MBE technologies to make accurate data driven decisions are crucial for factory environments. The ability to simulate real factory scenarios with MBE without interrupting factory operations de-risks factory implementations and provides critical data to make production decisions.
You can hear from Gary Hilton, along with AMRC, as part of the “Delivering On The Digital Factor” stream at Internet of Manufacturing UK .
Gary’s presentation – “Creating a Digital Backbone for Advanced Manufacturing – is a collaborative case study with AMRC addressing advanced manufacturing operations with Industry 4.0, successful digital strategies, and how to create a risk-free environment.

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