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AI-Powered Equipment Enhances Maintenance Revenue for Asian Giant

With over 30 years of experience in manufacturing and maintaining machinery, Asia Giant Engineering Co, a well-known Taiwanese traditional manufacturing equipment manufacturer, primarily serves listed chemical companies in Taiwan. In recent years, faced with the dual pressure of challenges in recruiting new talents and the retirement of senior staff, the company has been actively embracing smart manufacturing. Using AI to propagate the experience from senior craftsmen into data, making the equipment smarter, and significantly increased the maintenance and service revenue. Furthermore, the company has integrated intelligent monitoring services into the manufacturing equipment, becoming a pioneer in the application of AI in traditional chemical industries.


亞炬企業營運長許弘翰提到: 「以前的老師傅,都是透過之前累積的經驗,用『聽』或『感覺』來判斷設備可能是哪裡出問題或是有哪些零件損壞,沒有任何數據來佐證,」警覺到老師傅的經驗無法透過量化或用口述完整留存下來,他開始思考如何透過企業 AI 化,將經驗化為數據,以 AI 來傳承經驗與技術。

Paul Hsu, COO of Asia Giant, is the key pusher of the implementation of AI to the industry. As a second-generation leader of the company, he encountered a wave of retirements among senior technical staff when he took over in 2020. “In the past, our senior craftsmen would rely on accumulated experience and their ‘hearing’ or ‘intuition’ to judge where equipment might have issues or which parts might be damaged. There was no data to support their assessments,” realizing that the experience of their senior craftsmen could not be preserved through mere qualitative or oral methods, he began exploring how to turn this experience into data through business AI, so as to use AI to propagate experience and technology.


No Need to Learn Additional Programming - Easy Adoption of AI Applications


After implementing the AI platform, Hsu began researching relevant solutions available in the market. With thorough consideration, he chose to adopt the AutoML (Automated Machine Learning) platform from Profet AI, which is based on core AutoML technology and known for its quick installation and user-friendly interface.


“The biggest incentive is not having to learn additional programming,” admits Hsu. He points out that with Profet AI products, there is no need to learn any extra programming. You can directly import data from Excel files into Profet AI’s AutoML Platform to obtain the main key factors behind the problems. This is particularly beneficial for traditional industries, as it saves a significant amount of time that would otherwise be spent on learning programming languages to get the answers needed in a short amount of time.


Furthermore, Profet AI’s consultants are exceptionally dedicated. In addition to sharing fundamental AI concepts, they assist in identifying data that can be analyzed behind the issues and help model the data to find directions for improvement and optimization. They also share valuable insights on how traditional mechanical equipment can be enhanced through AI and IoT integration to improve equipment reliability and efficiency. This collaborative approach has significantly reduced the exploring phase for Asia Giant during the AI implementation process. Even now, Profet AI’s consultants continue to hold frequent meetings with Asia Giant to discuss the next steps in AI application direction.


Implementing the Profet AI AutoML Platform has Resulted in a Remarkable Increase in Efficiency and Revenue of Over 30% in Asia Giant’s Maintenance Operations


While the core business revolves around equipment development, manufacturing, and sales, Asia Giant embarked on its AI journey by focusing on equipment maintenance.


Initially, Asia Giant installed sensors on their manufacturing equipment. Profet AI AutoML Platform utilized extensive data collection and continuous data modeling to identify anomalies in data trends, such as significant fluctuations, sudden spikes, or sharp declines. Subsequently, experienced technicians were consulted to identify the source of the issue or the damaged components. As similar data trends reappeared, AI autonomously learned and issued advance warnings. For instance, if there is a sudden downward curve in the data trends, it could indicate that the bearings are nearing failure. In this scenario, the AI system can proactively halt the equipment’s operation, allowing for maintenance, repair, or replacement of components in advance. If waiting until the equipment actually breaks down before performing maintenance, the cost of wasted chemical raw materials and waste disposal could amount to several million or even tens of millions of dollars.


“Relying on people is a passive approach,” said Hsu. When equipment breaks down, and personnel are dispatched for inspection or emergency handling, the last-minute manpower adjustments not only strain the manpower but also result in time-consuming procurement and replacement of lost materials and damaged components. The inability to immediately repair the equipment and restore normal operation for the production lines means that these waiting periods represent a waste of both manpower and time.


After implementing Profet AI AutoML Platform, Asia Giant’s maintenance services have significantly improved in efficiency and quality. The system not only enables advance warnings to clients, notifying them of the need to halt operations next month for preemptive replacement or repair of potentially damaged components, but also facilitates efficient manpower allocation and component readiness. This approach helps clients avoid unnecessary chemical raw material wastage. Hsu estimates that one year after adopting AI, the efficiency of Asia Giant’s maintenance personnel has increased by 50%, resulting in a 30% boost in the overall revenue of their maintenance business.


The Integration of Equipment with AI Intelligent Monitoring Systems Saw a Significant Growth of 40% in Equipment Orders


After witnessing the comprehensive benefits of introducing AI into maintenance and repair services, Asia Giant began integrating intelligent monitoring systems into other equipment. In May 2022, during the “Kaohsiung Automation Industrial Exhibition and Kaohsiung International Instrumentation & Chemical Engineering Exhibition,” they unveiled their first piece of equipment that combined the Profet AI system – the “Smart Vertical Agitation Machinery.”


According to Hsu, this innovative equipment is constructed through the integration of core components with sensors, forming an intelligent monitoring system. It allows for real-time monitoring of the agitation process, tracking the wear and tear of components. The system proactively issues alerts when detecting abnormal data. Asia Giant promptly provides “customized” maintenance and repair services, significantly reducing the manpower and time costs associated with handling unexpected events and enhancing production efficiency for their customers.


The “Smart Vertical Agitation Machinery” later became a catalyst for AI applications in the chemical industry. Not only did Asia Giant’s long-term clients inquire about the possibility of retrofitting the intelligent monitoring system to their existing equipment, but also many pharmaceutical companies expressed a keen interest. They hoped to integrate the intelligent monitoring system into their equipment, allowing them to remotely monitor parameters like temperature, pressure, and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, checking for any abnormalities in real-time. According to statistics, in 2023, Asia Giant witnessed a substantial 40% growth in equipment orders with integrated AI intelligent monitoring systems compared to the previous year.


To facilitate the transformation of more manufacturing equipment into smart devices and expedite the integration of AI in both hardware and software, Asia Giant has established an Application Services Division this year. According to Hsu, the company’s future vision includes the recruitment of additional AI experts. This move aims to position Asia Giant as a prominent integration hub for AI applications within Taiwan’s chemical industry. They aspire to function as guardians of AI applications and solutions for their clients, facilitating the seamless entry of an increasing number of traditional chemical industry players into the realm of smart manufacturing.



 
 

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