When it comes to artificial intelligence (A.I.), the smart money is betting that the industry might be closer than many people realize, noted Matt Lueger, vice-president of sales, NorthWind Technical Services.

He said that Rockwell Automation recently purchased Emulate3D, an engineering software firm that allows manufacturers to virtually simulate equipment and systems to ensure throughput, machine performance and control testing.

“Though artificial intelligence is not widely used yet in the industry, machine builders are already starting to incorporate these types of simulations for virtual reality demos and training applications,” Mr. Lueger said.

Rowdy Brixey, president, BEST: Brixey Engineering Strategies & Training, observed that successful A.I. depends on accumulating accurate data points to drive decision-making.

“Providing the proper data is available, then you must decide what you’ll do with the decision the data tells you to make,” he explained. “A good system integrator will normally be needed to update existing equipment.”

At the International Baking Industry Exposition, to be held Sept. 7-11 in Las Vegas, Mr. Brixey recommended that bakers ask suppliers how A.I. is used in their latest systems displayed at the show. That will provide new insights that many bakers likely hadn’t seen before.

This article is an excerpt from the April 2019 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on maximizing efficiencies, click here.