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ABB, IBM partner to bring artificial intelligence to the plant floor

Combines ABB Ability and IBM Watson to take data gathering and analysis to the next level.


HANOVER, Germany — A strategic collaboration between ABB and IBM combines the technology companies’ digital and artificial intelligence capabilities to take gathering and analysing plant data to the next level.

The partnership pairs ABB Ability, the Swiss industrial technology company’s cross-industry digital capability, with IBM’s Watson Internet of Things to bring what they describe as “real-time cognitive insights to the factory floor and smart grids.”

The companies say the new suite of solutions aim to improve quality control, reduce downtime and increase the speed and yield of industrial processes by using data to understand, sense, reason and take actions that help eliminate inefficient processes and redundant tasks.

For example, inspections looking for defects have been done manually, a slow and potentially error-prone process. Watson’s artificial intelligence will be deployed to find defects via real-time production images that are captured through an ABB system, and then analyzed using IBM Watson IoT for Manufacturing. This will help increase the volume flowing through production lines while improving accuracy and consistency.

As parts flow through the manufacturing process, the manufacturer will be alerted to critical faults not visible to the human eye.

“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’s 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.”

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