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28.02.2024

Digital Transformation at Balluff: Moving Forward with GenAI

Balluff is driving digital transformation within the company: Since this year, an AI-based chatbot and an AI-supported software development assistant have been supporting employees in their daily work.

Since this year, an AI-based chatbot and an AI-supported software development assistant have been supporting Balluff employees in their daily work.

With its smart solutions, Balluff is driving digitalization forward. The goal: to intelligently connect classic automation technology (OT) and information technology (IT). The sensor and automation specialist is also in the midst of digital transformation internally - since this year, among other things, with two new initiatives in the field of artificial intelligence (AI): a self-developed AI-based chatbot (BalluffGPT) and an AI-supported code assistant (GitHub Copilot). Both are used worldwide within the company.

High security standards are guaranteed

"AI is already being used in many of our solutions - but we are also increasing our efficiency and effectiveness in our daily work with the technology," says Patrick Wild, Head of Global IT and member of Balluff's AI Task Force. The focus is on so-called generative AI (GenAI), which creates new content such as texts, images, or code - and thus appeals to a broad target group.

As an AI-based chatbot, BalluffGPT provides employees with answers to their questions. "The tool was developed in our own cloud infrastructure and thus meets all high security standards," says Wild. Further Balluff bots are planned, which will work on the basis of internal data and documents and will thus, for example, prepare information from knowledge databases or the HR area. GitHub Copilot is an AI-supported code assistant that helps developers write code faster and more efficiently.

Innovation and efficiency

"At Balluff, we see our two AI initiatives as real game changers," says Wild, "because they not only increase our ability to innovate, but also simplify and accelerate many aspects of everyday work." The openness of colleagues is crucial. For this purpose, employees are offered various opportunities for exchange and training in addition to AI guidelines for safe and sensible use of the new tools. It is important: "Artificial intelligence does not replace any of our employees. But it helps us to expand our capabilities and thus always find the best solutions for our customers."

About Balluff

Founded in 1921 in Neuhausen a. d. F., Balluff, with its 3,900 employees worldwide, stands for innovative technology, quality, and cross-industry experience in industrial automation. As a leading sensor and automation specialist, the fourth-generation family-owned company offers a comprehensive portfolio of high-quality sensor, identification, network, and software solutions. In 2022, the Balluff Group recorded sales of around 567 million euros. In addition to the central headquarters in Neuhausen a. d. F., Balluff has sales, production, and development locations around the globe and is represented in 61 countries with 38 subsidiaries and other representations. This guarantees customers fast worldwide availability of products and high consulting and service quality directly on site.

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