The first 5G trial dedicated to Industry 4.0 is underway in Singapore, leveraging IBM technologies in partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), M1 and Samsung.
Designed to assess the “transformative impact” of the new connectivity standard across a variety of industry sectors, Big Blue will take a lead role in implementing and testing industry use cases.
This will be underpinned by the vendor’s suite of digital solutions, spanning artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things, edge computing and augmented reality, in addition to network architecture built on IBM systems using open solutions infrastructure from the recently acquired Red Hat.
According to Martin Chee - managing director of Singapore at IBM - the trial is designed to complement the city-state’s Smart Nation and Digital Economy efforts, in addition to driving adoption at enterprise level.
“This will allow businesses to leverage digital technologies to create next-generation solutions and be responsive to rapidly changing market and 5G adoption in Singapore,” said Chee, recently appointed to the role.
“IBM has built industry-leading hybrid cloud, AI and security capabilities underpinned by deep industry expertise. This collaboration will seed Singapore's 5G capabilities and strengthen its position as a leading industrial innovation hub, and move us closer in fulfilling our Industry 4.0 vision.”
The trial is expected to commence during the second quarter of 2020 and will be displayed at an IBM facility located at Changi Business Park, with solutions subject to evaluation from both IBM and Samsung.
Meanwhile, IMDA will share the learnings and solutions developed through this partnership with Singapore businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises in the manufacturing sector, as well as 5G innovation ecosystem participants.
“5G will be the backbone of Singapore's digital economy, strengthening our national competitiveness and reinforcing our position as a global business and connectivity hub,” added Tan Kiat How, CEO of IMDA.
Together with Samsung as network and mobile solution provider and M1 from a telecommunications standpoint, a 5G network framework and subsequent skillsets are expected to be established upon completion of the trial, allowing the formula to be rolled out from Singapore and commercialised in other countries.
“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us to collaborate with leading industry players to develop, test and roll-out innovative 5G-enabled industry 4.0 solutions that will enhance smart manufacturing processes,” said Denis Seek, chief technical officer of M1.
“Through this partnership, we hope to strengthen our in-house engineering capabilities in harnessing state-of-the-art 5G standalone technology for enabling hyper-connectivity, end-to-end network slicing, ultra-low latency, highly reliable and secured communications."
The project will also test 5G-enabled use cases for manufacturing, focusing on automated visual inspection using AI for image recognition and video analytics; improved equipment monitoring and predictive maintenance through AI-enabled acoustic insights; and assembly and debugging leveraging augmented reality to enhance productivity and quality.
“These are exciting times for the manufacturing industry,” added KC Choi, executive vice president of B2B Business at Samsung. “Already at the forefront of digital transformation, disruptive technologies and digitalisation are now opening up new and unprecedented possibilities for the sector.
“New technologies will confer on tomorrow's factories which will depend on ultra-reliable and low latency communication between machines, sensors, databases and workers' mobile devices. Singapore has long been a leader in fostering innovation, and this 5G Industry 4.0 program is yet another validation of their technology leadership.”