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5G based industrial-use AI app launched in Finland

 An ABB plant in Helsinki producing frequency alterer, or low voltage drives, has started using a 5G wireless-based artificial intelligence application for routine production purposes, ABB announced on Wednesday.

The company said it believed the application was the first of its kind in the world with the actual industrial usage, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Fast 5G connections provide workers with intelligent and real-time feedback from a camera right above the work station. "This is not an academic exercise, but actual production and as such a unique first step in the incorporation of 5G and artificial intelligence," Simo Saynevirta, head of digitisation projects at ABB Finland, said.

While the new 5G artificial intelligence ensures better work quality, it also reduces the concern about human errors and thus improves well-being at work. Besides errors related to the actual installation work, the system alerts the employee about ergonomically wrong body or hand positions.

There are plans to add augmented reality features to the system, to further improve the "well being at work" of the employees.

The use of the new system started this week at an assembly line which is particularly demanding to workers. The problem is that different versions of the product are assembled on the same line. With the immediate reaction from the 5G system, faults are easily detected and corrected.

Talking to media in Helsinki, Chris Poynter, ABB Vice President from Zuerich, described the Helsinki plant as a flagship location for ABB development work in the sector.

In its media release, ABB underlined that long standing cross-industry networking tradition in Finland made the innovation possible. "The joint project has grown on the basis of the cooperative ecosystem of the Finnish manufacturing industries and the mobile communications industry." 

Finnish software engineering firm Atostek is responsible for the computer vision and the AI application and Nordic mobile phone operator Telia is providing the system's high-speed 5G mobile connections and the computing capacity needed by the application in its data.

Saynevirta said Finland is an excellent location for innovative work in digitisation due to the progressive approach in regulations. He described Finland as "an innovative environment that makes possible to bring together small and large companies with their expertise".
 

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