Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for April 25th, 2017

IBM Brings Cognitive Manufacturing To The Factory Floor

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IBM has made sizable investments in the Internet of Things (IoT) space over the past several years.

Last October, the company announced it would be spending $3B U.S. to bring Watson cognitive computing to IoT, and allocated more than $200M U.S. to its global Watson IoT headquarters in Munich.

When that announcement was made, IBM had 6,000 clients globally tapping Watson IoT solutions and services, and the momentum continues with its announcement earlier today that the company was launching a new IBM Watson IoT solution, Cognitive Visual Inspection.

Announced at Hannover Messe 2017, Cognitive Visual Inspection will provide manufacturers with a ‘cognitive assistant’ on the factory floor to minimize costly defects and increase product quality.

In fact, based on early testing of a production cycle that typically takes 8 days with ½ day required for needed visual inspection, the new IBM solution reduced inspection time by 80 percent and cut manufacturing defects by 7-10 percent.

Using an ultra-high definition (UHD) camera and cognitive capabilities from IBM Watson, the solution captures images of products as they move through production and assembly, and together with human inspectors, can detect defects in products, including scratches or pinhole-size punctures.

The solution, which continuously learns based on human assessment of the defect classifications in the images, is designed to help manufacturers improve for product excellence, achieve never seen before specialization levels, and deliver on the promise of Industry 4.0.

According to Business Insider Intelligence, the installed base of manufacturing IoT devices is expected to swell 3 times — from 237 million in 2015 to 923 million in 2020. By that year, manufacturers will spend approximately $267 billion on the IoT. 

Manufacturing of these devices require the highest level of inspection for quality during every stage of production.  Over half of these quality checks involve visual confirmation, which helps ensure that all parts are in the correct location, have the right shape or color or texture, and are free from scratches, holes or foreign particles.

Automating these visual quality checks is difficult due to volume and variety of products, as well as the fact that defects can be any size –from a tiny puncture to a cracked windshield on a vehicle.

The new solution helps inspectors accelerate the sometimes tedious and expertise-based visual inspection process to quickly identify and classify defects in the manufacturing process – helping to increase production yield.

Written by turbotodd

April 25, 2017 at 10:54 am

IBM and NUS Partner On FinTech and Blockchain Training in Singapore

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FinTech Week NYC may have swung into full hyperledger mode, but IBM continues to forge new blockchain initiatives and partnerships around the world.

Most recently, the National University of Singapore (NUS) School of Computing and the IBM Center for Blockchain Innovation (ICBI), a part of IBM Research, have announced a collaboration to jointly develop a module on financial technology, to better equip students with essential knowledge and skill sets in this area.

Blockchain is a fast growing area across the globe, with banking, healthcare and the government leading the way in terms of adoption. According to studies by IBM’s Institute of Business Value, these three industries are investing heavily in blockchain and commercial solutions are expected to be in place in the next few years.

  • Leading the pack in blockchain banking: Trailblazers set the pace: Fifteen percent of banks and 14 percent of financial market institutions interviewed by IBM intend to implement full-scale, commercial blockchain solutions in 2017. 65 percent of banks are expecting to have blockchain solutions in production in the next three years.
  • Healthcare rallies for blockchains: Keeping patients at the center: Healthcare institutions are going all-in – investing heavily in blockchain pilots, with nine in ten respondents planning to invest by 2018 across all business areas IBM surveyed them about.
  • Building trust in government: Nine in ten government organizations surveyed plan to invest in blockchain for use in financial transaction management, asset management, contract management and regulatory compliance by 2018.

The Singapore government’s strategic goal to become a Smart Financial Centre has put focus on blockchain for Singapore. Through its Financial Sector Technology & Innovation (FSTI) scheme, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has committed S$225 million (US$157 million) over a five-year period to provide support for the creation of a vibrant fintech ecosystem.

Among the projects that have been backed by the scheme is a decentralized record-keeping system based on blockchain technology aimed at preventing duplicate invoicing in trade finance.

The new module on financial technology is expected to be introduced in January 2018, and will focus on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. It seeks to equip students with an understanding of the fundamentals of the technology behind distributed ledgers, and its diverse use cases, from banking to digital currencies to supply chain management. 

NUS faculty members will co-develop the curriculum of the new module with IBM researchers at ICBI to enable students to learn about the latest developments in blockchain technology, and encourage them to contribute to developing the technology further. 

The module will be co-taught by NUS academic staff and ICBI staff who will use financial technology software such as Hyperledger Fabric, one of the five projects under the Hyperledger umbrella, to deliver the course content. Hyperledger Fabric was initially contributed by IBM. Such software will also be made available to NUS researchers for research purposes.  Such software will also be made available to NUS researchers for research purposes. 

Under the collaboration, ICBI will provide technology support in the form of access via the IBM Cloud to the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain framework. IBM is an early contributor Hyperledger, a Linux Foundation project, which now contains more than 129 member organizations.

You can learn more about IBM Blockchain initiatives here.

Written by turbotodd

April 25, 2017 at 9:15 am

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