Betacom and Google Cloud open 5G-AI showcase at US Manufacturing Institute

Private network specialist Betacom, cloud provider Google Cloud, and IT distributor Ingram Micro have opened an Industry 4.0 showcase at the Factory Floor Lab in the Digital Manufacturing (MxD) Institute, located at the National Center for Cybersecurity in Manufacturing in Chicago in the US. Betacom has already deployed a private 5G network – based on “zero-trust design principles”, it says – at the MxD site, together with radio network vendor Airspan Networks and core network vendor Druid Software.

The new Industry 4.0 exhibition space at MxD is intended to “redefine efficiency, productivity and competitiveness in manufacturing and supply chain industries”, the trio said. The Industry 4.0 use cases on display combine private 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud technology, rendered as a collaborative and interactive exhibit, according to the group. The companies are pushing tech ranging from “smart automation and machine vision to predictive analytics and real-time inventory tracking”.

Betacom listed use cases for “smart manufacturing”, “digital workforce”, “resilient supply chains”, and safety and security The first shows how modish data analytics and machine vision technologies, in particular connecting robots on private 5G, can “improve the efficiency, output quality, and uptime of modern production lines”. The second is about how augmented and virtual reality technologies can “streamline worker tasks, automate visual inspection, and enable new levels of remote collaboration on and off the factory floor”.

The third shows how cloud-based data analytics can help manufacturers “understand supply chain risks to improve demand planning and optimize execution”, said Betacom. The safety and security showcase shows how AI and 5G (etc) are “protecting critical assets and data from physical and cyberthreats, as well as creating safer workplaces… in hazardous environments”.

A statement declared: “[This] is part of a collaborative effort to equip manufacturers with digital tools and expertise needed to increase productivity and strengthen US manufacturing. By bringing together diverse technologies and device manufacturers… [we] aim to accelerate manufacturers’ automation and digitalization initiatives by demonstrating complete solutions that are available today.”

The trio are taking bookings at the site.

Charlie Sheridan, director of manufacturing industry solutions at Google Cloud, said: “As the manufacturing industry embraces the potential of Industry 4.0, our goal is to accelerate the adoption of advanced analytics technology and AI capabilities to drive efficiency, accuracy and innovation as part of this evolution. Google Cloud provides manufacturers with cloud-based platforms, AI, and IoT, while ensuring scalability and security.”

Jeff Yelton, vice president of technology solutions at Ingram Micro, said: “Ingram Micro is empowering our channel partners to further modernize the manufacturing sector. Through MxD, we are offering our channel partners and their customers an up-close look into the transformation that private 5G, artificial intelligence and cloud technology are bringing to this industry. We are pleased to collaborate with Betacom and Google Cloud and work across the technology ecosystem to ensure our channel partners are strategically positioned. Together, we are empowering our partners to leverage technology to drive greater efficiency and deliver exceptional experiences for stakeholders.”

Johan Bjorklund, chief executive at Betacom, said: “For manufacturers to reap the value of automation and digitalization, technology providers must break down the silos and collaborate to solve real-world challenges, alleviate integration headaches and streamline access to proven solutions. Private 5G networks continue to gain momentum as the backbone for many Industry 4.0 initiatives because they provide the reliable and secure connectivity needed for today’s most demanding applications.”

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