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ABB Partners with IBM's Watson to Give Robots a "Brain" to Think On Their Own

ABB and IBM have announced a strategic collaboration that brings together ABB's digital offering, ABB Ability, with IBM Watson Internet of Things cognitive capabilities to unlock new value for customers in industry, transport and infrastructure.

Customers will benefit from ABB's deep domain knowledge and extensive portfolio of digital solutions combined with IBM's expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as different industry verticals. The first two joint industry solutions powered by ABB Ability and Watson will bring real-time cognitive insights to the factory floor and smart grids.

"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 ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer.

New Suite of Breakthrough Solutions

The new suite of breakthrough solutions developed by ABB and IBM will help companies address in a completely new way some of their biggest industrial challenges, such as improving quality control, reducing downtime and increasing speed and yield of industrial processes.

These solutions will move beyond current connected systems that simply gather data, to cognitive industrial machines that use data to understand, sense, reason and take actions supporting industrial workers to help eliminate inefficient processes and redundant tasks.

"This important collaboration with ABB will take Watson even deeper into industrial applications -- from manufacturing, to utilities, to transportation and more," said Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, president and CEO. "The data generated from industrial companies' products, facilities and systems holds the promise of exponential advances in innovation, efficiency and safety. Only with Watson's broad cognitive capabilities and our platform's unique support for industries can this vast new resource be turned into value, with trust. We are eager to work in partnership with ABB on this new industrial era."

Bringing Real-Time Cognitive Insights to the Factory Floor

For example, ABB and IBM will leverage Watson's artificial intelligence to help find defects via real-time production images that are captured through an ABB system, and then analyzed using IBM Watson IoT for Manufacturing. Previously these inspections were done manually, which was often a slow and error-prone process.

By bringing the power of Watson's real time cognitive insights directly to the shop floor in combination with ABB's industrial automation technology, companies will be better equipped to increase the volume flowing through their production lines while improving accuracy and consistency.

As parts flow through the manufacturing process, the solution 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. Easier identification of defects impacts all goods on the production line, and helps improve a company's competitiveness while helping avoid costly recalls and reputational damage.

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ABB / IBM

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