IBM, Samsung, M1 unveil 5G Industry 4.0 studio

  • Studio simulates operational use cases to help business harness digital tech
  • Has seven areas of focus, from visual recognition to 5G end-to-end solutions

IBM, Samsung, M1 unveil 5G Industry 4.0 studio IBM, Samsung Electronics and M1 have opened the IBM Industry 4.0 Studio, an initiative which the company said will 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.

The studio simulates operational use cases that demonstrate how businesses can harness the power of hybrid cloud and AI technologies, and advanced 5G capabilities to transform critical operations and drive new value, the companies said in a statement.

This include improving quality and productivity in production lines to empowering service and quality control personnel.  

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

IBM has worked with Samsung and M1 to deliver solutions that take advantage of the ultra-low latency, high reliability, and security of 5G connectivity. 

It combines Samsung’s state-of-the-art standalone (SA) 5G network solutions and mobile devices with IBM’s hybrid cloud, edge computing, and AI technologies.

Network operator M1 meanwhile contributes to the engineering and network services expertise in the design and integration of 5G SA solutions and formulation of 5G test cases to meet regulatory requirements. 

Built on Red Hat's OpenShift, the Industry 4.0 use cases employ IBM’s AI solutions for visual and acoustic analysis and augmented reality technologies, they said.

Supported by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) as part of Singapore’s 5G journey, the studio hosted the country’s first 5G Industry 4.0 trial.

The trial tested real-world applications that can be applied in the manufacturing sector, while measuring and optimising the performance of enterprise 5G for industrial use. 

The launch is the next step in Samsung and IBM’s global strategic partnership to advance 5G and edge industry innovation through enterprise networks and  cross collaboration with global mobile operators, the companies said.

“5G presents an enormous opportunity for enterprises to drive new value and transform their operations to harness the next era of industrial connectivity,” said Brenda Harvey, general manager for IBM Asia Pacific.

“This project builds on IBM’s longstanding strategic partnership with Samsung and a shared vision with M1 and IMDA aimed at helping businesses tap into emerging hybrid cloud and AI technologies that will define their future success.

“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.”

Some areas of focus

There are seven focus areas being explored via the studio that could deliver transformative value for customers by applying ultra-low latency, high-bandwidth, and stable and secure 5G connectivity to Industry 4.0 applications. Some of the application include:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Augmented reality (AR) solution. A collaboration between IBM Singapore and IBM Haifa Research Lab. 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.
  • Complex use cases for automated guided vehicles and collaborative robots. Enabled by the low latency of 5G, a robot arm uses a phone to visually scan an item, which is then 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.
  • 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 radio access networks and the core networks, with IBM's open hybrid cloud technologies.

“5G is a potential game changer for Industry 4.0. It is the critical connectivity layer that can enable smart manufacturing,” said Lew Chuen Hong, chief executive, IMDA.

“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.”


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