IBM, Samsung Electronics and Singapore network operator M1 opened the IBM Industry 4.0 Studio, which will combine advanced 5G connectivity with artificial intelligence, hybrid cloud and edge computing functionalities to make and test innovative Industry 4.0 products for enterprises in Singapore and across the Asia Pacific 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 – from 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 worked with Samsung and M1 to deliver products that take advantage of the ultra-low latency, high reliability, and security of 5G connectivity, combining Samsung’s standalone 5G network products and mobile devices with IBM’s hybrid cloud, edge computing, and AI technologies, as well as M1’s engineering and network services expertise in the designing and integration of 5G SA products and formulation of 5G test cases to meet regulatory requirement.
Built on Red OpenShift, the Industry 4.0 use cases employ IBM’s AI products for visual and acoustic analysis and augmented reality technologies.
Supported by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority as part of Singapore’s 5G journey, the Studio is hosting the country’s first 5G Industry 4.0 trial, testing real-world applications that can be applied in the manufacturing sector, while measuring and optimising the performance of enterprise 5G for industrial use.
With full-fledged 5G standalone functionality covering at least half of Singapore by end 2022, Singapore will drive more businesses to evaluate the ways in which they can integrate 5G into their existing operations, but they need a way to trial new use cases to evaluate their adoption strategies and return on investment.
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 through cross collaboration with global mobile operators.
“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. 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,” said Brenda Harvey, General Manager, IBM APAC.
There are seven focus areas being explored via the Studio that could deliver transformative value for customers by applying ultra-low latency, high-bandwidth, stable and secure 5G connectivity to Industry 4.0 applications:
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 analyze 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.
“5G is a potential game changer for Industry 4.0. It is the critical connectivity layer that can enable smart manufacturing. I would like to congratulate IBM for the opening of its 5G-enabled Industry 4.0 studio here in Singapore. 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. We will work with industry to forge ahead with 5G, as we architect Singapore’s digital future,” said Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive, IMDA.
“As a forerunner in Singapore’s 5G development, M1 is the first network operator to roll out 5G trials as early as 2018 and has developed more than 15 5G use cases, trials and partnerships – a record in the industry, in the areas of autonomous vehicles, robotics, AI and more. The endless possibilities that 5G SA network can bring to Industry 4.0 manufacturing in Singapore is set to 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. 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 Manjot Singh Mann, CEO of M1.
KC Choi, Executive Vice President & Global Head of B2B Business, Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics commented, “The opening of the Studio in Singapore is an important milestone in applying 5G-enabled mobile and network solutions with Industry 4.0 capabilities to help transform manufacturing. Mobile and 5G capabilities like these are empowering workers and changing the way factories and warehouses operate, bringing new efficiency and productivity to operations. Samsung is pleased to be collaborating with IBM, IMDA, and M1 in this groundbreaking project to help make 5G a reality for customers.”