IBM and Samsung open Industry 4.0 studio to forge industrial 5G and AI in Asia Pacific
IBM has teamed up with network vendor Samsung and mobile operator M1 in Singapore to open an ‘Industry 4.0 studio’, in its own name, to develop and test 5G and AI solutions for industrial applications in the Asia Pacific region. The new standalone (SA) 5G setup already hosts the country’s first “5G Industry 4.0 trial”, the group said, to test applications for the manufacturing sector.
IBM will provide edge / cloud compute infrastructure, plus AI capabilities; Samsung will provide the 5G networking infrastructure; M1 will provide “engineering and network services expertise”, and presumably airtime into the bargain. Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority is also engaged. They will test 5G and AI for autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs), collaborative robots (cobots), augmented reality (AR), and IoT-based object recognition / classification.
The use cases are based on Red Hat’s OpenShift containerization software and employ IBM’s AI solutions for visual and acoustic analysis and augmented reality technologies. A statement said half of Singapore will be covered with 5G A by the end of 2022. The studio will show industrialists in the region how to “harness the power of hybrid cloud and AI… and advanced 5G… to transform critical operations and drive new value,” it said.
IBM and Samsung made a pact late last year to collaborate on on-premise AI and 5G to drive the Industry 4.0 market. The pair are looking to develop “open, hybrid cloud solutions” for enterprises to draw data insights closer to their operations – everywhere from “the factory floor to an oil rig or a regular office space”. Their objective, as per the Industry 4.0 credo, is to help to “improve operational performance, increase worker safety, and minimize downtime”.
The new venue, called the IBM Industry 4.0 Studio, has seven focus areas: visual recognition solutions using IBM’s Maximo streaming video analytics solution; acoustic insights, using audio captured by phones and tablets to uncover potential defects in server fans, for example; AR for step-by-step instructions for manual processes; AGVs and cobots; edge-based AI optimisation; container-based apps for monitoring and control of multiple IoT solutions; and vertical use cases for private networks.
On the last item, the group restated their focus is to deliver private networks that combine Samsung’s 5G RAN and core with IBM’s hybrid cloud tech.
Brenda Harvey, general manager for IBM in the Asia Pacific region, said: “5G presents an enormous opportunity for enterprises to drive new value and transform their operations to harness the next era of industrial connectivity… It is crucial businesses have an opportunity to test and evaluate these technological investments.”
KC Choi, executive vice president and global head of B2B in Samsung’s mobile communications business, said: “The opening of the studio is an important milestone in applying 5G-enabled mobile and network solutions with Industry 4.0 capabilities to help transform manufacturing. 5G capabilities like these are empowering workers and changing the way factories and warehouses operate, bringing new efficiency and productivity to operations.”
Manjot Singh Mann, chief executive at M1, said: “The endless possibilities 5G SA can bring to manufacturing in Singapore [will] benefit enterprises. M1’s 5G hyper-connectivity, end-to-end network slicing, ultra-low latency, as well as highly reliable and secured communications will enable businesses to work not just faster, more efficiently and securely, but smarter too.”
Lew Chuen Hong, chief executive at IMDA, said: “5G is a potential game changer for Industry 4.0. It is the critical connectivity layer that can enable smart manufacturing. It is important for Singapore to be the place where innovative 5G solutions can be developed and deployed globally. A strong 5G ecosystem will provide more opportunities for businesses and our people.”