AI technology could identify manufacturing Defects.

Fujitsu | March 31, 2021

AI technology could identify manufacturing Defects.
Products are routinely examined for abnormalities, flaws, or manufacturing errors as part of the production process. Now, modern AI technology developed by the Japanese company Fujitsu has the potential to significantly reduce the number of working hours needed for this procedure.

Fujitsu Laboratories, a research center within the multinational ICT group, has developed an AI technology for image inspection that helps for the highly detailed identification of a wide range of external defects on manufactured goods.

The technology employs an AI model trained on photographs of goods with artificial abnormalities, eliminating the need to prepare training data from live images of faulty products pulled from a manufacturing line's inspection procedure.

The problem in training AI to execute quality management tasks is that models are often trained using weighted and summed indices for individual characteristics. This will make it difficult to construct a model that thoroughly comprehends all of the features that must be examined.

Fujitsu has created a system for training an AI model that allows a normal image with several irregularities such as form, scale, and color to be recovered by artificially applying the virtual defects to a normal image prepared for training.

According to the company, this technology achieved more than 98 percent in an AUROC ranking, which is an assessment metric used to evaluate classification model performance.

The score was obtained in a category of items of typical appearance differences, such as carpets with varying fur patterns and colors on an individual basis, and printed circuit boards with different wiring shapes on different components.

Fujitsu has validated the technology's usefulness in a real-world environment at Fujitsu Interconnect Technologies' Nagano factory, which produces electronic equipment. The AI, according to the firm, reduced the number of hours needed for inspecting printed circuit boards by 25%.

In recent years, the manufacturing industry has been a significant target for digitalization. An €11 million European initiative to use machine learning to improve processes and achieve zero-defect manufacturing was announced last week.

Fujitsu's AI advances have also been applied in other fields. Earlier this month, the company unveiled specifics of a facial recognition system that uses an AI model to track subtle variations in muscle expressions in a person's facial expression to measure how focused someone is in online classes and meetings.

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