Robotics, automation and power company
, ABB, and technology company
, IBM, have announced a strategic collaboration that will combine ABB’s digital offering ABB Ability
and IBM Watson Internet of Things
cognitive capabilities. According to the partnership the combined effort will unlock new value for customers in utilities, industry, transport and infrastructure.
The first two joint solutions which combines ABB’s digital solutions and IBM’s artificial intelligence and machine learning will bring real-time cognitive insights to the factory floor and smart grids.
“This powerful combination marks truly the next level of industrial technology, moving beyond current connected systems that simply gather data, to industrial operations and machines that use data to sense, analyze, optimize and take actions that drive greater uptime, speed and yield for industrial customers,” said Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO, ABB.
According to the duo, the new joint solutions will help companies their biggest industrial challenges, such as improving quality control, reducing downtime and increasing speed and yield of industrial processes. These solutions will also move beyond current connected systems that simply gather data, to cognitive industrial machines that use data to understand, sense, reason and take actions supporting industrial workers to help eliminate inefficient processes and redundant tasks.
“This important collaboration with ABB will take Watson even deeper into industrial applications — from manufacturing, to utilities, to transportation and more,” said Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO, IBM.
How will the partnership solutions help?
On the factory floor
For example, ABB and IBM will leverage Watson’s artificial intelligence to help find defects via real-time production images that are captured through an ABB system, and then analyzed using IBM Watson IoT for Manufacturing. Previously these inspections were done manually, which was often a slow and error-prone process.
By bringing Watson’s real time cognitive insights directly to the shop floor in combination with ABB’s industrial automation technology, the partnership claims that enterprises will be better equipped to increase the volume flowing through their production lines while improving accuracy and consistency.
ABB and IBM state that as parts flow through the manufacturing process, the solution will alert the manufacturer to critical faults – not visible to the human eye – in the quality of assembly. This enables fast intervention from quality control experts. Easier identification of defects impacts all goods on the production line, and helps improve a company’s competitiveness while helping avoid costly recalls and reputational damage.’
At the power grid
ABB and IBM claim that they will apply Watson’s capabilities to predict supply patterns in electricity generation and demand from historical and weather data, to help utilities optimize the operation and maintenance of today’s smart grids, which are facing the increased complexity created by the new balance of conventional as well as renewable power sources.
Forecasts of temperature, sunshine and wind speed will be used to predict consumption demand, which will help utilities determine optimal load management as well as real-time pricing.
“The data generated from industrial companies’ products, facilities and systems holds the promise of exponential advances in innovation, efficiency and safety. Only with Watson’s broad cognitive capabilities and our platform’s unique support for industries can this vast new resource be turned into value, with trust. We are eager to work in partnership with ABB on this new industrial era,” adds Rometty.