AI is coming to factories as IBM works with IoT startup Wi-Next

IBM will bring more advanced analytics to Wi-Next's industrial IoT systems

Internet of Things startup Wi-Next, which makes IoT systems for factories like this cookie plant, has a partnership with IBM to integrate the company's advanced analytics with its solutions. Credit: Wi-Next

Internet of Things startup Wi-Next, which makes IoT systems for factories like this cookie plant, has a partnership with IBM to integrate the company's advanced analytics with its solutions. Credit: Wi-Next

Internet of Things startup Wi-Next will add IBM analytics to its systems for industrial quality control and predictive maintenance.

The added capabilities, including some powered by artificial intelligence, are designed to help food-processing companies and consumer product makers keep production lines running smoothly despite what's sometimes a breakneck pace.

The partnership should help deliver one of the most important benefits promised by industrial IoT: preventing unexpected shutdowns. It's also aimed at keeping every product that rolls off the line exactly the same.

Industrial machines have had ways to talk to each other for years, but often with limited, proprietary tools. With industrial IoT, the options for collecting and analyzing data are growing.

Wi-Next makes devices and software for collecting data from industrial gear, especially in the food service and consumer goods industries. For example, sensors on a bottled-water production line can check how much each bottle is being filled. The sensors can can send that data through a Wi-Next Wi-Fi node on the factory floor to Wi-Next gateway software. Wi-Next can act as a bridge between legacy machine-to-machine systems and modern networking and analytics.

Enterprises can route that information into traditional databases and ERP systems or send it to cloud services via APIs. Then they can analyze it, after the fact or in real time, to better understand what's going on in their facilities.

Wi-Next's partnership with IBM lets users tap into powerful analytics capabilities in IBM's BlueMix cloud platform, including its Predictive Maintenance and Quality software. The billions IBM has invested in advanced analytics are more than any startup could bring to the equation, Wi-Next CEO Armando Pereira said.

IBM's artificial intelligence can learn how a machine behaves over time and predict what adjustments have to be made, Pereira said. Cognitive computing features can sift through a variety of data points to detect failures of quality in real time.

Enterprises can use those tools in IBM's cloud or integrate them with the Wi-Next gateway software on their own systems. The second option is critical because many of Wi-Next's customers don't want information about their operations to leave the premises, Pereira said. For example, data like temperatures, pressures, cooking times and humidity levels are trade secrets for a chocolate maker.

Wi-Next was founded last year in Milan and is now based in Palo Alto, California.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Wi-NextAIIBMInternet of Thingsartificial intelligenceIoT

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?