ILMA Compoundings June 2018 - 26

"Lube manufacturers need to understand that there's AI in the
supply chain, and it is impacting the people who use lubricants."
- Annie Jarquin, director of business development, Kline Group
predictability of manufacturing," she said, "helping lubricant
manufacturers know what they're going to make for a given
month or year. My feeling is that most lube manufacturers
have no idea what they'll be making, say, on the sixth of
July. But the data analytics and improved predictability will
change that and have one of the biggest influences on the
way in which lubricant manufacturers manufacture."
O'Donnell noted that there are also customer-facing
solutions that can be enhanced by AI. "When you buy
something on Amazon, Amazon automatically pulls up a list
that tells you 'Customers who bought that also bought this.'
Lube manufacturers may have hundreds of products, but a
given customer buys only a handful of them. But what if lube
manufacturers could immediately tell people that 'Customers
who bought that product of yours also bought this' to upsell
those customers? That's essentially an AI function," he said.
"AI needs to be incorporated into our daily business,"
advised Tushar Desai, director of manufacturing for CHS
Inc. "The shortage of a young labor force interested in entering this industry also creates a need for integrating more AI
into the business. It helps [manufacturers] to accomplish
more with less labor."

More Effective Integrations

"Any time a computer or programmed memory device is
used, it has artificial intelligence. This includes enterprise
resource planning [ERP] systems," said Desai. "We have
multiple programmable logic controller [PLC] devices
installed on the plant floor that are programmed to perform specific functions. They are an aid to the operator in
performing various tasks. It helps to speed up processes and
minimize human errors."
These enhanced integrations could have wide-ranging impact.
"I see the impact of sensors evolving and becoming popular
in the industry," O'Donnell said. "Here's what I'm talking
about: When it comes to product delivery, the process is: You

26

JUNE 2018

| COMPOUNDINGS | ILMA.ORG

take the order, print a shipping document, ship it, deliver it, the
customer signs off and then you invoice it. But what if I have
GPS sensors in those shipments that tell me where I'm shipping
them? GPS should help me locate where those products are so
that I should be able to invoice as soon as it arrives, without any
customer interaction. I don't know if that's AI, exactly, but it's
taking advantage of internet of things [IoT] sensors to speed up
the whole process. That's important. Companies of all sizes are
working to eliminate non-essential steps and be more efficient.
Everyone's asking how do you accomplish more with the same?"
Jarquin believes AI will be even more significant for lubricant customers. "Lubricants use will increase as an outcome
of artificial intelligence use among those other manufacturers. A company that's manufacturing skin care products
or making any kind of chemical is using sensors on their
equipment, so they get live data to improve and service their
equipment," she said. "Lubricant manufacturers working
with those companies will get much more data from them
to drive how they develop their own products and in what
quantities. Lubricant manufacturers are going to see their
customers becoming more knowledgeable - and having
higher service expectations - as a result of AI.
"Lube manufacturers need to understand that there's
AI in the supply chain, and it is impacting the people who
use lubricants."

Looking Ahead

"We think AI's the way of the future," said Edward Barth,
Emerson's global sales manager. "It offers the type of analytics you need to make optimal use of what you have and
better manage your forecasts and inventory."
Despite that optimism, Athimoolam acknowledges that
there are still significant hurdles to overcome before AI gains
widespread integration in the lubricants industry.
"Cloud computing and IoT are not well integrated
into plant controls systems yet," he said, "primarily due to


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ILMA Compoundings June 2018

ILMA Compoundings June 2018 - Cover1
ILMA Compoundings June 2018 - Cover2
ILMA Compoundings June 2018 - 1
ILMA Compoundings June 2018 - 2
ILMA Compoundings June 2018 - 3
ILMA Compoundings June 2018 - 4
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ILMA Compoundings June 2018 - 7
ILMA Compoundings June 2018 - 8
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