IBM, Samsung, M1 preparing enterprises to fully utilise 5G capabilities

TWO giant technological companies have been collaborating in delivering new solutions for enterprises by discovering ways on how the power of 5G will be able to increase productivity and unlock new business opportunities.

As part of this effort, both Samsung Electronics and IBM, along with the subsidiary of Keppel Corporation, M1 have established the IBM Industry 4.0 Studio.

The studio aims to combine advanced 5G connectivity with artificial intelligence (AI), hybrid cloud and edge computing capabilities to develop and test innovative Industry 4.0 solutions for enterprises in Singapore and across the region.

In doing so, the studio simulates operational use cases that demonstrate how businesses can utilise hybrid cloud and AI via 5G capabilities to transform critical operations – from improving quality and productivity to empowering service and quality control personnel.

The studio will also develop, test and benchmark real-world Industry 4.0 use cases involving autonomous guided vehicles, collaborative robots, 3D augmented reality and real-time AI visual and acoustic recognition and classification.

Meanwhile, being a leader in Singapore’s digital transformation, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) is providing its support for the studio to host the country’s first 5G Industrial 4.0 trial, which will test real-world applications that can be applied in the manufacturing sector, while measuring and optimising the performance of enterprise 5G for industrial use.

“5G presents an enormous opportunity for enterprises to drive new value and transform their operations to harness the next era of industrial connectivity. This project builds on IBM’s longstanding strategic partnership with Samsung, and a shared vision with M1 and IMDA, to help businesses tap into emerging hybrid cloud and AI technologies that will define their future success,” said IBM APAC general manager Brenda Harvey.

“It is crucial these businesses have an opportunity to test and evaluate these technological investments, and we are committed to working shoulder to shoulder with them to ensure they make the best decisions that will truly propel their businesses forward,” she added.

There are seven focus areas being explored via the Studio that could deliver transformative value for customers, which includes:

  1. Visual Recognition solutions using IBM Maximo Visual Inspection. With 5G, this enables real-time, streaming video analytics to power use cases such as faster identification of defects on the manufacturing line or rapid sorting of parts in a warehouse environment.
  2. Acoustic Insights. Applies AI to analyse audio captured by phones and tablets to uncover potential defects in server fans, for example. Combined with 5G, this enables audio streaming and more rapid analysis to enable continuous monitoring in real time.
  3. Augmented reality (AR) solution, a collaboration between IBM Singapore and IBM Haifa Research Lab. For example, users can point the camera of their mobile device at equipment and view step-by-step instructions that are superimposed on the image on their screen to walk them through a procedure such as setup, testing, or repair. 5G enables rapid, dynamic access to multiple procedure models, so a technician could browse quickly from step to step without long delays to download new models. If the technician encounters a problem not covered in the procedure model, 5G enables a remote expert to provide real-time, live, peer-to-peer assistance using on-screen AR guidance.
  4. Complex use cases for automated guided vehicles and collaborative robots, enabled by the low latency of 5G. For example, a robot arm uses a phone to visually scan an item; the visual is sent to the server, analysed and the result returned; the robot arm then takes action to sort or reject the item based on the Visual Inspection result. The low latency of 5G enables this process to take place in near-real-time, allowing the robot arm to immediately sort or reject parts.
  5. AI models developed and deployed on edge servers, with flexibility and dynamic resource scalability via Red Hat OpenShift.
  6. Container-based applications with continuous monitoring and automated management, integration, and control of multiple deployed solutions at the edge, via IBM Edge Application Manager.
  7. 5G end-to-end solutions and vertical use cases for private networks. Delivering private networks that combine Samsung’s latest 5G end-to-end solutions, including the RAN and the Core, with IBM’s open hybrid cloud technologies. Additionally, exploring new vertical use cases to enable enterprises to adopt emerging technologies crucial to Industry 4.0.

“The use cases being tested and developed out of this project will help more Singapore businesses to adopt 5G, value-adding to the acceleration of Industry 4.0 and building a vibrant 5G ecosystem for Singapore,” said M1 CEO Manjot Singh Mann. – March 17, 2021

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