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Ericsson, ABB to accelerate ecosystem for flexible wireless automation

The Swedish vendor said this agreement will enable Industrial IoT and artificial intelligence technologies in the future

Ericsson and ABB, a Swiss-Swedish company focused on digital industries, have strengthened their collaboration to accelerate the industrial ecosystem for flexible wireless automation, the vendor said in a statement.

The partnership will enable enhanced connected services, Industrial IoT and artificial intelligence technologies in the future, Ericsson said.

The partners inked a Memorandum of Understanding at Hannover Messe 2019, being held this week.

The MoU confirms the partners’ agreement to continue their research collaboration, explore improvements in manufacturing processes and automation and discover new business opportunities for the industrial ecosystem.

“We are very excited to extend our partnership with Ericsson as the world moves closer to the era of 5G technology,” said Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB. “ABB’s leadership in digital industries combined with Ericsson’s pioneering work in connectivity will open up new opportunities for customers to enhance productivity and competitiveness by digitalizing their businesses.”

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, said that the two companies “already have a strong collaboration in research for 5G and Industrial IoT technologies. With this MoU, we strengthen our partnership to accelerate the industrial ecosystem and realize the full potential of flexible automation, unlocking new business opportunities enabled by combining 5G and Industry 4.0.” 

At Hannover Messe 2019, the two partners are showcasing how they are enabling the “Factory of the Future” by exhibiting their latest technologies in flexible robotics, wireless technologies, 5G, Industrial IoT and motion control. 

The two partners are already working to introduce a new generation of intelligent factory technologies, with Ericsson deploying an intelligent automation system at its manufacturing facility in Tallinn, Estonia. In this project, ABB is providing a fully automated, flexible robot cell solution for the final assembly of 5G radios.

In partnership with ABB, Ericsson aims to deploy an intelligent automation system at its manufacturing facility in Tallinn throughout 2019, beginning with the Ericsson Radio System portfolio.

Ericsson also said that it will subsequently combine this system with its own connectivity layer – adding machine learning and artificial intelligence to its production, enabling real-time data analytics and an end-to-end predictive automated manufacturing chain.

Ericsson and ABB have been collaborating in other projects, including several ongoing joint research and development projects across 5G and industrial automation. In 2017, Ericsson and ABB introduced a 5G lab in Västerås, Sweden.

“This investment will help consolidate Ericsson’s instrumental role in the evolution to smart manufacturing, as well as catering to future 5G-automated, high-volume production demands at our own manufacturing facilities,” said Lars Ottoson, head of Ericsson supply at Tallinn.

Erik Josefsson, Head of Advanced Industries, Ericsson, said that the two partners “can now drive innovative collaboration across the industrial ecosystem together in Tallinn to enable the future of wireless and automated production.”

Ericsson’s smart factory is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2019.       

ABB is a Swiss-Swedish multinational corporation headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, focused mainly in the areas of robotics, power, heavy electrical equipment and automation technology.

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