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NEC and AIST use AI to improve production processes

- Shortening the design and evaluation period of the "multi-product mixed production process" -

Tokyo, Japan, May 30, 2019 - NEC Corporation (NEC) and Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) today announced the strengthening of "Rare Event Discovery Technology," which combines AI and simulation technology to improve production processes, such as the early assessment of production processes and production plans. Trials of the technology took place from September 2018 to March 2019 in collaboration with Kobe Steel Corporation with a production simulator developed by Kobe Steel.

These trials demonstrated that evaluation of the "multi-product mixing production process" can be more efficient and take significantly less time. In comparison to conventional evaluations, which require approximately one week to carry out manually under the direction of experts, the new technology is expected to reduce the evaluation period to approximately one day. This will enable the rapid construction of new production processes and the quick change of production plans for existing production processes.

In this demonstration, NEC and AIST applied Rare Event Discovery Technology, which was collaboratively researched and developed by the NEC-AIST AI Cooperative Research Laboratory established in 2016, in order to evaluate the production process using a production process simulator that can quickly and faithfully reproduce the multi-product mixed production process developed by Kobe Steel.

As part of the production process assessment, AI automatically narrows down the patterns to be searched, thereby making the search work more efficient. This is approximately 10 times more efficient than the conventional "grid search" method, and is expected to reduce the manual evaluation time from over one week to about a day. Additionally, it can reduce the possibilities of multiple patterns being overlooked.

As a new enhancement to Rare Event Discovery Technology, it is now possible to intensively search for patterns that are most likely to occur among the patterns experts want to find, thus reducing the search time.

NEC, AIST and Kobe Steel will continue to conduct joint research in the future, contributing to the research and development of AI and simulation integration technologies to support the planning of equipment and production, as well as production processes and industrial applications.


For More Information

Rare Event Discovery Technology

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