ABB and Ericsson pave the way for digital transformation of industries

ABB and Ericsson, together with Swisscom, showcase for the first time, how easily and effectively robots can be controlled over wide distances utilizing the real-time communication capabilities of 5G.

Sami Atiya, President of ABB Robotics and Discrete Automation, and Börje Ekholm, CEO of Ericsson
Sami Atiya, President of ABB Robotics and Discrete Automation, and Börje Ekholm, CEO of Ericsson

During WEF 2020, world leaders will witness the potential of no-latency communication enabled by 5G. At the Congress Center in Davos, Switzerland, an ABB YuMi® collaborative robot will carve a message in a sandbox that will be replicated at the same time by a second YuMi® robot located 1.5 km away.

The simultaneous action will be enabled through Swisscom’s 5G network equipped with Ericsson technology in real-time and viewed on video screens at both locations. Based on a multi-year technical collaboration, ABB and Ericsson have developed the fundamental technologies needed to connect machines via a 5G mobile network.

“ABB will continue to drive the digital transformation of industries by investing in developing innovative solutions and products. Our partnership with Ericsson and Swisscom helps us to seize the full potential of 5G for industrial manufacturing” said Peter Voser, ABB CEO and Chairman. Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics and Discrete Automation business said: “5G wireless technologies make it easier to connect robots to the cloud and factory automation systems, enabling faster access to more data and better decision-making based on insights which will help improve efficiency and reliability through the entire production cycle.  As we replace traditional wire set-ups with 5G mobile networks, we can significantly increase flexibility in manufacturing.”

”5G technology partnerships across business, government and society are key to developing the digital economy. By embracing and enabling such partnerships, new digital opportunities can be realized to benefit the global economy, national economies, and businesses of all sizes,” said Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson.

Urs Schaeppi, CEO Swisscom, said: "The joint demo uses our live 5G network in Davos to give a glimpse of the capabilities and various possibilities of 5G for manufacturing and robotics. The time is now to step into 5G."

With this technology the companies pave the way for the highest flexibility for machines on the factory floor. Utilizing 5G networks, the deployment and operations of large fleets of autonomous machines and robots will become a reality.

A significant benefit from 5G in industrial environments is that instead of a single control/single purpose operating approach, multi-machines can be controlled by one central resource, reducing the cost of managing and maintaining OT as well as IT systems, on a global basis.

ABB is continuously working towards autonomous industries across customer segments. For example, as a world’s first, ABB enabled a ferry to be remote-controlled across the Helsinki harbor at the end of 2018. 5G is an enabling technology that will help drive digital transformation of industries, increasing productivity, efficiency and quality in manufacturing worldwide.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a technology leader that is driving the digital transformation of industries. With a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB has four customer-focused, globally leading businesses: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion, and Robotics & Discrete Automation, supported by the ABB Ability™ digital platform. ABB’s Power Grids business will be divested to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees. www.abb.com

Ericsson enables communications service providers to capture the full value of connectivity. The company’s portfolio spans Networks, Digital Services, Managed Services, and Emerging Business and is designed to help our customers go digital, increase efficiency and find new revenue streams. Ericsson’s investments in innovation have delivered the benefits of telephony and mobile broadband to billions of people around the world. The Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on Nasdaq New York. www.ericsson.com

Swisscom, Switzerland’s leading telecoms company and one of its leading IT companies, is headquartered in Ittigen, close to the capital city Berne. Outside Switzerland, Swisscom has a presence on the Italian market in the guise of Fastweb. Swisscom is one of Switzerland’s most sustainable and innovative companies.

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