ABB and IBM recently announced a strategic collaboration that will combine ABB's digital offering, ABB Ability, with IBM's Watson Internet of Things cognitive capabilities for customers in utilities, industry, transport and infrastructure. The first two joint industry solutions powered by ABB Ability and Watson will be expected to bring real-time cognitive insights to the factory floor and smart grids.

"This powerful combination marks truly the next level of industrial technology, moving beyond current connected systems that simply gather data to industrial operations and machines that use data to sense, analyze, optimize and take actions that drive greater uptime, speed and yield for industrial customers," said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer.

The new suite of solutions developed by ABB and IBM will be intended to address some of the biggest industrial challenges, such as improving quality control, reducing downtime, and increasing the speed and yield of industrial processes. These solutions will be designed to move beyond current connected systems that simply gather data to cognitive industrial machines that use data to understand, sense, reason and take actions, supporting industrial workers to help eliminate inefficient processes and redundant tasks.

"This important collaboration with ABB will take Watson even deeper into industrial applications – from manufacturing to utilities to transportation and more," said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO. "The data generated from industrial companies' products, facilities and systems holds the promise of exponential advances in innovation, efficiency and safety. We are eager to work in partnership with ABB on this new industrial era."

For instance, ABB and IBM will leverage Watson's artificial intelligence to help find defects via real-time production images that are captured through an ABB system and then analyzed using IBM's Watson Internet of Things for Manufacturing. Previously, these inspections were done manually, which was often a slow and error-prone process.

In another example, ABB and IBM will apply Watson's capabilities to predict supply patterns in electricity generation and demand from historical and weather data to help utilities optimize the operation and maintenance of smart grids. Forecasts of temperature, sunshine and wind speed will be used to predict consumption demand, which will help utilities determine optimal load management as well as real-time pricing.

A leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, ABB operates in more than 100 countries with approximately 132,000 employees.

For more information, visit www.abb.com.