Manufacturers take centre stage in AI adoption, survey finds

Published: 14-Jun-2024

AI can facilitate business growth, whilst addressing the skills gap and the need for improved process efficiency

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a rapidly growing influence in pharmaceutical manufacturing operations, and will likely play a significant role in the next phase of the industry revolution: Pharma 5.0.

A report released by Fluke Reliability endeavoured to find out what impact AI had been having on the manufacturing sphere, and surveyed more than 600 senior decision makers and maintenance professionals in the US, UK and Germany. 

AI’s skyrocketing popularity 

The investigation found that manufacturers are at the forefront of implementing AI technologies into day-to-day operations, with 93% of survey respondents saying that AI will be a high business priority during the next 12 months.

This is also true at an organisational level, with 9 in 10 senior decision makers agreeing AI is the priority and over 4 in 5 maintenance managers saying the same.


76.5% want to shift to predictive/proactive maintenance with AI in the future

AI in predictive maintenance forecast to grow

However, when discussing the role of AI in predictive maintenance, only 8% of survey participants are currently operating a strategy of this type that implements the use of machine intelligence. 

Although this is true, 76.5% want to shift to predictive/proactive maintenance in the future — AI implementation is viewed as a tool to achieve that goal.

Manufacturers are working to turn their ideas into action — it seems — as on average, survey respondents said they had the intention of investing 44% of their technology budgets into AI in 2024.

In fact, 30% said they’d invest 51-75%, suggesting that AI is at the forefront of many technology advancements in the industry.


61% expect to achieve their AI goals in just 11 months

Fast-tracking the optimisation process

While only 9% of manufacturers agree that they have completed their Industry 5.0 goals to date, the majority (61%) expect to achieve their AI goals in just 11 months.

“Predictive maintenance is becoming a need, not a want - especially as skilled labour is hard to come by and retain,” said President of Fluke Reliability, Ankush Malhotra. “AI offers a clear pathway to process optimisation, and there is a strong belief within the industry that manufacturers who don’t adapt to the benefits are likely to be left behind. The results of this survey show that where many industries are talking about AI implementation, manufacturers are following through.”

Why manufacturers are adopting AI

Of those looking to invest in the next 12 months, the need for adoption was largely driven by the benefits of AI implementation including:

  • The ability to develop new products and services (35%)
  • Provide a new way to address data processing and analysis requirements (35%)
  • A means to address the call for improvements to customer service (35%)
  • The demand for improved efficiency and productivity (34%)
  • Ways to compensate for the skilled labour shortage (31%)

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