ABB and IBM reached a strategic collaboration that links ABB’s digital offering with IBM Watson Internet of Things cognitive capabilities.
ABB will take its industry knowledge and combine it with IBM’s artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.
The first two joint industry solutions powered by ABB Ability and Watson will bring real-time cognitive insights to the factory floor and smart grids.
“This … 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 ABB Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer.
The combination will help companies address in a completely new way some of their biggest industrial challenges, such as improving quality control, reducing downtime and increasing speed and yield of industrial processes.
These solutions 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, IBM chairman, president and chief executive. “The data generated from industrial companies’ products, facilities and systems holds the promise of exponential advances in innovation, efficiency and safety.”
ABB and IBM will leverage Watson’s artificial intelligence to help find defects via real-time production images 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 the power of Watson’s real time cognitive insights directly to the shop floor in combination with ABB’s industrial automation technology, companies will be better equipped to increase the volume flowing through their production lines while improving accuracy and consistency. 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. Easier identification of defects impacts all goods on the production line.
The combination also allows for the application of Watson 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.