AI in Manufacturing Economy Lags Other Indiana Industry Sectors, But Manufacturers Continue to Make Strides on Adoption to Enhance Production Capabilities

For the last several years, Conexus Indiana has studied Industry 4.0 technology adoption trends and consistently found that Indiana manufacturers are steadily increasing the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies to improve efficiency and productivity in their production facilities. Since the completion of the last survey in 2022, the development and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has rapidly evolved, particularly with the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT platform. Consequently, AI has progressively been at the forefront of national media and public policy discussions.

With this national significance in mind, Conexus Indiana joined its parent organization, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), to survey Indiana’s key industry clusters (advanced manufacturing and logistics, agbiosciences, life sciences and technology) to understand AI adoption and its role in Indiana’s economy. These findings were analyzed and published in CICP’s report, “AI in Indiana: 2023.”

To further understand how Indiana’s advanced manufacturing and logistics industries, specifically, are adopting AI, Conexus extracted survey responses from Indiana manufacturing companies and analyzed the findings in its own whitepaper, “Manufacturers Make Strides on AI Adoption to Enhance Production Capabilities.” Below are a few of the key findings:

  • 4/10 Indiana manufacturers have implemented AI
  • Indiana manufacturers believe cybersecurity is the #1 AI risk
  • 1/4 Indiana manufacturers expect to implement AI in the next five years
  • Top AI capability for Indiana manufacturers is machine vision

Click here to read the executive summary.

Based on these findings and further analysis of the 2020-2022 Industry 4.0 Technology Adoption Survey Reports, Conexus Indiana will work with its statewide partners on the following actions: (1) Support the development of customized AI solutions for AML, (2) Bridge the gap between AI adoption and talent development, and (3) Increase collaboration between manufacturing companies and Indiana’s technology integrators.

If you’re an AML company in Indiana interested in adopting AI, the following resources are available to support your journey:

  • Developing Customized AI Solutions 
    • Energy INsights: The state-funded program provides a smart manufacturing starter kit is provided to Indiana’s small-medium manufacturers at subsidized cost. Participants receive a scalable hardware and software package, a hands-on learning experience and engineering services to help them create quantifiably valuable manufacturing insights. By participating, manufacturers can save 5-15% of their electric bill. Companies can also leverage hardware and software from their starter toolkit in other smart manufacturing use cases. Get started here.
    • AnalytiXIN Communities of Practice: The virtual webinar series aims to bring together companies and universities across Indiana, fostering a collaborative environment to upskill the workforce by (1) providing targeted training in essential areas such as machine learning and AI techniques, data ethics, privacy, and more, and (2) facilitating collaboration between industry and academia for potential groundbreaking projects that bridge the gap between the two sectors. Register for an upcoming webinar here.
  • Bridging the Gap Between AI Adoption + Talent Development
    • Conexus Indiana recently partnered with Ivy Tech Community College and Purdue University to better understand a growing need among Indiana’s manufacturing and logistics companies for digital skills and smart manufacturing talent development. Companies interested in guiding and supporting new educational solutions for Indiana’s industrial economy can reach out to Mitch Landess (mlandess@conexusindiana.com) to get involved. 
    • New degree programs for emerging AI professionals: Purdue University’s new online Master of Science in artificial intelligence degree, which features two majors, one for people who build AI systems and one for people who make use of them. The interdisciplinary AI master’s degree is designed especially to meet the needs of two distinct sets of working professionals: AI builders and AI translators. The Indiana University Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering also recently announced a bachelor’s degree in AI, which is tailored to students who want to focus on human and applied data science. It also includes an internship option where students work on AI-related projects with industry partners as part of their degree.
  • Increasing Collaboration Between Manufacturing Companies and Indiana’s Technology Integrators
    • ClearObject has partnered with the Indiana IoT Lab and the Indiana University Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering to accelerate adoption of Industry 4.0 Vision AI solutions in Indiana-based SME Manufacturers. Launched in January 2024, the program is designed to work with local Indiana manufacturers who are interested in implementing advanced computer vision technology in their operations but haven’t been able to do so on their own. Data Science and AI graduate students from IU Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering are mentored by AI experts from ClearObject to work with local manufacturers and install a fully-functional AI-based vision system within a manufacturer’s existing production operations. Companies can get connected here.
    • Indianapolis-based AI and data analytics provider, Conversight AI, releases educational webinars and podcasts that are free to the general public. These resources explore various AI and machine learning topics, such as Unleashing the Power of Generative AI, Generative AI and Integrated Analytics with ConverSight GPT and Self-Service Analytics for Inventory Management. Learn more here.
  • Leverage Grant Funding to Support Technology-Enabled Capital Investments
    • Several Indiana companies have also used Manufacturing Readiness Grants to help fund AI and machine learning projects, including Photon Automation, POLARIS Laboratories, Mach Medical and Pike Lumber Company. To better understand their real-world AI adoption projects, read their case studies here.

Read the full AI report here.