Samsung and IBM, together with Singapore telecom provider M1, are partnering with IMDA to explore Industry 4.0 use cases combining AI, mobile devices and robotics – all accelerated over 5G networks – as part of Singapore’s Digital Economy efforts.
Singapore is embracing the 5G future and has committed to rolling out 5G standalone networks to provide coverage for at least half of Singapore by end-2022, scaling up to nationwide coverage by the end of 2025.
Mr. Tan Kiat How, IMDA Chief Executive, explains: “Today, amid the uncertainties of COVID-19, Singapore is forging ahead with our 5G plans. Beyond just being connected infrastructure, we believe that these 5G networks are an important innovation infrastructure for a digital economy. A vibrant, dynamic 5G innovation ecosystem drives business transformation and enables exciting new applications. This will unlock new value for industries as well as create new jobs for workers.”
“This partnership between IBM, IMDA, M1 and Samsung is focused on piloting Industry 4.0 innovations leveraging 5G, which can then be scaled up within factories in Singapore as well as IBM facilities around the world” Mr. Tan said.
Manufacturing facilities present some of the most exciting opportunities for 5G network adoption due to their size, complexity and the high level of automation already in place. 5G-enabled technology can help manufacturers improve core performance goals like minimising equipment downtime, improving safety and security, reducing defects and increasing manufacturing flexibility. IBM and Samsung have been exploring several Industry 4.0 use cases:
- Manufacturers can take advantage of visual recognition and video analytics, as well as acoustic insights, to understand operating performance of equipment in real time and rapidly trouble-shoot issues, supporting improved uptime and reduced defects. Both of these technologies require the transfer and analysis of massive amounts of data and constant real-time AI learning – an area that 5G clearly excels in.
- AR offers great potential for factory field engineers conducting preventative maintenance. Again, AR relies on large data models accessed via a mobile device, as well as streaming of high-resolution video. Without hyperfast 5G, a field engineer could lose hours of productivity in downloading the right AR model, or require multiple technicians to be brought onsite to address an issue which could have been resolved remotely.