Northbridge Study Examines Impact of AI and Smart Tech in Manufacturing

TORONTO, May 14, 2020 – Northbridge Insurance has released a study that examines the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Smart Technology (Smart Tech) on the Canadian manufacturing industry. This research is intended to help develop a better understanding of what AI and Smart Tech mean in the context of manufacturing, track the adoption and readiness of AI and Smart Tech among manufacturers in Canada, and identify challenges that these technologies pose for manufacturers.

“While this research was conducted prior to the start of the global pandemic that is currently challenging manufacturers, these technologies may play an important role in their recovery and the development of more resilient businesses that are better equipped to deal with this level of disruption in the future,” shares Ilda Dinis, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience & Innovation at Northbridge.

Download our whitepaper on AI and Smart Tech in Manufacturing

Key findings:

In late 2019, Northbridge surveyed decision-makers in 200 Canadian manufacturing businesses who were currently using or in the process of implementing AI or Smart Tech or planning to invest in them in the next two years. The results were then evaluated through in-depth interviews with four AI experts and 15 manufacturers. The study found:

  • Almost half of the country’s manufacturers (48 per cent) surveyed have already adopted these technologies, while another 20 per cent are in the process of doing so.
  • Cost savings are the biggest driver for adopting AI and Smart Tech, followed by opportunities to increase revenue through higher throughput, extended machinery and equipment lifespans, and more value-added products.
  • Canadian manufacturers are using AI and Smart Tech for multiple applications, including task automation (71 per cent of manufacturers), quality control (64 per cent), predictive and preventative maintenance (59 per cent), and planning and scheduling applications (58 per cent).
  • Among businesses that currently employ AI or Smart Tech, 71 per cent think they are ahead of their competitors from a technological perspective, compared to just 44 per cent of those who are just exploring these technologies.
  • Key challenges surrounding the adoption of AI and Smart Tech are access to capital and finding skilled workers to implement and work with these technologies.

As a leading insurer within the Canadian manufacturing industry, Northbridge works closely with its trusted network of broker partners to continuously understand the evolving challenges and opportunities facing our customers.

About Northbridge Insurance

Northbridge Insurance is a leading Canadian commercial insurer. Working with our broker partners, we focus on understanding the needs of our customers and on creating solutions that make a difference to their success. Visit us at to learn more.

For further information, please contact:

Emily McCauley
Manager, Content and Communications
Northbridge Insurance
+1 (416) 350-4341
[email protected]

This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information.

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