Rychtyckyj, Nestor (AAAI) | Raman, Venkatesh (Ford Motor Company) | Sankaranarayanan, Baskaran (Indian Institute of Technology Madras) | Kuma, P. Sreenivasa (Indian Institute of Technology Madras) | Khemani, Deepak (Indian Institute of Technology Madras)
For over twenty-five years Ford Motor Company has been utilizing an AI-based system to manage process planning for vehicle assembly at its assembly plants around the world. The scope of the AI system, known originally as the Direct Labor Management System and now as the Global Study Process Allocation System (GSPAS), has increased over the years to include additional functionality on Ergonomics and Powertrain Assembly (Engines and Transmission plants). The knowledge about Ford's manufacturing processes is contained in an ontology originally developed using the KL-ONE representation language and methodology. In this article, we will discuss the process by which we re-engineered the existing GSPAS KL-ONE ontology and deployed semantic web technology in our application.
In 2007 we presented a paper that described the application of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Translation (MT) for the automated translation of process build instructions from English to other languages to support Ford's assembly plants in non-English speaking countries. This project has continued to evolve with the addition of new languages and improvements to the translation process. However, we discovered that there was a large demand for automated language translation across all of Ford Motor Company and we decided to expand the scope of our project to address these requirements. This paper will describe our efforts to meet all of Ford's internal translation requirements with AI and MT technology and focus on the challenges and lessons that we learned from applying advanced technology across an entire corporation.
This issue of AI Magazine provides extended versions of several papers that were recently presented at the Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference (IAAI-2010). We present three articles reflecting deployed applications of AI, one describing a unique, emerging application, plus an article based on the invited talk by Jay M. Tenenbaum, who was the 2010 Engelmore Award recipient.
Machine translation (MT) was one of the first applications of artificial intelligence technology that was deployed to solve real-world problems. In the late 1990s, Ford Vehicle Operations began working with Systran Software Inc. to adapt and customize its machine-translation technology in order to translate Ford's vehicle assembly build instructions from English to German, Spanish, Dutch, and Portuguese. The assembly build instructions at Ford contain text written in a controlled language as well as unstructured remarks and comments. The MT system has already translated more than 7 million instructions into these languages and is an integral part of the overall manufacturing process-planning system used to support Ford's assembly plants in Europe, Mexico and South America.
In this article I discuss a deployed application at Ford Motor Company that utilizes AI technology for the analysis of potential ergonomic concerns at Ford's assembly plants. The manufacture of motor vehicles is a complex and dynamic problem, and the costs related to workplace injuries and lost productivity due to bad ergonomic design can be very significant. Ford has developed two separate ergonomic analysis systems that have been integrated into the process planning for manufacturing system at Ford known as the Global Study and Process Allocation System (GSPAS). GSPAS has become the global repository for standardized engineering processes and data for assembling all Ford vehicles, including parts, tools, and standard labor time.