ABB puts artificial intelligence into the grid with IBM

ABB puts artificial intelligence into the grid with IBM

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The project is part of a key deal between the two companies to combine ABB’s Ability networking technology with the Watson Internet of Things (IoT) AI service. This will help utilities optimize the operation and maintenance of smart energy grids, which are facing the increased complexity created by the new balance of conventional as well as renewable power sources says ABB. Forecasting temperature, sunshine and wind speed will predict consumption demand, which will help utilities determine optimal load management as well as real-time pricing.

The Watson AI will also be used to improve quality control, reduce downtime and increase production speed and yield of industrial processes. It will be used to find defects via real-time production images that are captured through an ABB system, and then analyzed using IBM Watson IoT for Manufacturing.

These inspections were previously done manually, which was often a slow and error-prone process. As parts flow through the manufacturing process, the system will alert the manufacturer to critical faults – not visible to the human eye – in the quality of assembly. This enables fast intervention from quality control experts.

“This powerful combination marks truly the next level of industrial technology, moving beyond current connected systems that simply gather data, to industrial operations and machines that use data to sense, analyze, optimize and take actions that drive greater uptime, speed and yield for industrial customers,” said Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB which has an installed base of 70 million connected devices, 70,000 digital control systems and 6,000 enterprise software deployments.

The deal is important for IBM as well. “This important collaboration with ABB will take Watson even deeper into industrial applications — from manufacturing, to utilities, to transportation and more,” said Ginni Rometty, Chairman, president and CEO of IBM. “The data generated from industrial companies’ products, facilities and systems holds the promise of exponential advances in innovation, efficiency and safety.”

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