ABB pilots industrial AI application using 5G
ABB said it is currently piloting what it claims to be the world’s first industrial artificial intelligence application using 5G technology to assist the assembly of drives, at its Helsinki plant.
The solution is implemented in partnership with Nordic telecom operator Telia and software engineering firm Atostek Oy.
The AI application will support the plant’s workers by monitoring the assembly of the drives by camera and ensuring they are correctly assembled according to a customer’s order and applicable work instructions, ABB said.
The 5G connections will provide workers with real-time feedback, making assembly significantly easier, the company added.
Atostek, which specializes in industrial applications, is responsible for the computer vision and the AI application. Telia is providing the system’s high-speed 5G mobile connections and the computing capacity needed by the application in its data center. The project is being implemented in stages and will be in full-scale production in June 2019.
The application is being applied to the power module assembly line, which is critical to production quality.
“The potential of AI is strongest when combined with human expertise, and the goal of supporting employees in a new way is at the heart of this project,” said Simo Säynevirta, country digital lead at ABB Finland. “At its best, this real-time quality assurance system not only improves production line quality and productivity, but also reduces the stress associated with human errors, which helps improve wellbeing at work.”
With this new 5G AI solution, ABB and its partners said they are exploring how industrial applications that require high data capacity and high computing power can be implemented in scalable form in the future, regardless of location. For ex-ample, the AI application could be integrated with enterprise resource planning systems, according to ABB.
”The 5G solution built for ABB is a prime example of the drivers speeding up the next industrial revolution: superfast connections, cloud services powered by our data center and analytics. They accelerate the digitalization of the customer’s industrial process in a way that on the national level means a significant increase in competitive competence and productivity,” said Janne Koistinen, head of Telia Finland’s 5G program.
ABB said its drives plant in Helsinki is its leading unit in the development of low voltage drives. The plant has around 1,300 employees. Globally, ABB’s drive business involves around 6,000 employees in a total of over 80 countries.
ABB is a Swiss-Swedish multinational corporation headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. The company mainly operates in robotics, power, heavy electrical equipment and automation technology areas.