AI boost to core assets

Published 04 February 2019

Artificial intelligence (AI) can boost the performance of cement companies’ heavy assets, such as cement mills and kilns, and increase the profit per hour. McKinsey highlights how these improvements can be made. By Robert Feldmann, Patrick Schulze and Thomas Czigler, McKinsey, Germany, and Eleftherios Charalambous, McKinsey, Greece.

Figure 1: many heavy manufacturing sectors, including cement, are late adopters of

artificial intelligence and are only starting to catch up

In view of the attention it has received of late, it is easy to think artificial intelligence (AI) is a new discovery. In fact, it appeared as a concept in the mid-1950s. But being ahead of the technology available then, it languished on the shelf of “interesting ideas” for years. It was not until computers became more powerful from the 1980s that machine-learning algorithms, and more recently, deep-learning approaches using neural networks improved and spurred consumer products,  financial services companies, online commerce and media to become early adopters. 

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