ABB & IBM collaborate on industrial artificial intelligence

Apr 25, 2017

ABB and IBM teamed up for a strategic collaboration that brings together ABB’s digital offering, ABB Ability, with IBM Watson Internet of Things cognitive capabilities to create new solutions in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure.

According to ABB, customers will benefit from ABB’s domain knowledge and portfolio of digital solutions combined with IBM’s expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning. 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.

The new suite of solutions developed by ABB and IBM will help companies address some of their biggest industrial challenges, such as improving quality control, reducing downtime and increasing speed and yield of industrial processes. These solutions will move beyond current connected systems that 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 CEO. "The data generated from industrial companies' products, facilities and systems holds the promise of exponential advances in innovation, efficiency and safety."

ABB and IBM are hoping to bring real-time cognitive insights to the factory floor by leveraging 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. As parts flow through the manufacturing process, the solution will alert manufacturers to critical faults that are invisible to the human eye, enabling faster intervention from quality control experts. 

ABB and IBM will also apply 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. 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.

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