Collaborative Robot Advances in the News

Collaborative Robot Advances in the News

The trade shows are piling up one atop the other, and I’ve decided that I can’t possibly make them all. So, I’m going on vacation for the first time in a while. I missed ATX in February (same time as ARC). I will miss Hannover next week and Automate the week after.

However, Universal Robots has supplied me with news from ATX and then in two weeks at Automate. The collaborative robot, or cobot, is cool. The genre is dinged for being slow, but many other capabilities and features make up for that. Check out these news items.

Universal Robots and VersaBuilt to launch new direct interface for cobots and CNC machines

Manufacturers struggling to get CNC machines to communicate directly with their collaborative robot now have a solution: VersaBuilt’s CNC Communication URCap is a simple yet powerful interface for machine tending applications with Universal Robots. URCap allows a UR cobot to easily execute any machining program stored on the CNC directly through the cobot’s own teach pendant. Initially launching for Haas CNC machines, VersaBuilt will develop UR interfaces for other popular CNC makes later this year.

The Haas CNC Communication URCap will soon be available through the UR+ platform, a showroom of products all certified to integrate seamlessly with UR cobots. The URCap maintains all Haas safety interlock features and works with Haas, VersaBuilt, and other third-party automatic door openers.

“VersaBuilt is excited to partner with Universal Robots to provide machine shops with automation solutions designed for high mix CNC manufacturers,” says Albert Youngwerth, CEO of VersaBuilt Robotics, a company helping machine shops automate thousands of part numbers of all shapes and sizes in turning and milling applications.

VersaBuilt’s patented MultiGrip workholding system will soon be available through the UR+ platform. MultiGrip includes an automatic vise, machinable jaws and an end-of-arm tool for the UR robot. MultiGrip was developed to address the frustration experienced when working with traditional robot grippers and CNC vises.

Regional Sales Director for Universal Robots’ Americas Division, Stuart Shepherd, emphasizes the importance of better integration tools for cobots and CNCs. “CNC machine tending is one of the most popular tasks to automate with collaborative robots,” he says. “But there’s still hurdles to overcome in achieving seamless integration. VersaBuilt’s two new products are important tools in addressing this. We’re excited to welcome them to the UR ecosystem and share their solutions with the ATX audience.”

Visumatic’s showcases cobot-controlled screw driving

Joining VersaBuilt in the UR+ pipeline is Visumatic’s VCM-3X.2 Collaborative Screw Driving Package delivering repeatable joining operations handled directly through the UR cobot’s teach pendant. The system communicates to a screw driver control that handles a wide range of different screw driving feeds and routines. The VCM is bundled with pre-programmed fault recovery logic and Visumatic’s field-proven power bit advance, bit position sensors and fastener delivery confirmation.

XPAK ROBOX – first solution for random case erecting

The XPAK ROBOX box erector, powered by a UR10e cobot arm allows packagers to randomly erect any box in their suite on-demand without changeover. The collaborative design not only enables the operator to safely and intuitively interface with the machine, ROBOX also realizes approximately 60% reduction in terms of the footprint required for a similar machine using more conventional robotic technology requiring fencing.

Solutions for Fast-Growing Applications in Industries Facing Labor Shortages

When U.S. manufacturers were asked to describe their primary business challenge, it wasn’t the increase of raw materials cost, trade uncertainties, or rising health insurance expenses that topped their lists. Close to 70 percent of manufacturers in the National Association of Manufacturers’ 2018 fourth-quarter outlook survey responded that attracting and retaining a quality workforce was their number one concern while the Society of Manufacturing Engineers reported that 89 percent of manufacturers have difficulty finding workers.

The labor shortage is especially prevalent in jobs with many repetitive and ergonomically unfavorable tasks. “These are jobs that we like to refer to as the ‘3D jobs’ – the Dirty, the Dull and the Dangerous,” says Stuart Shepherd, Regional Sales Director of Universal Robots’ Americas Region. “Collaborative robots are now increasingly handling these types of tasks in manufacturing settings. Our booth at Automate will showcase how we work with our rapidly expanding partner network to develop solutions tailored to address the industries and applications hardest hit by labor shortages.”

Universal Robots’ booth #7154 at Automate 2019, the largest automation solutions event in North America held in Chicago April 8-11, features four different application clusters for machine tending, packaging, assembly and processing.

UR+ is a platform that connects UR cobot users to an ecosystem of partners providing UR-certified, ready-to-use cobot accessories such as grippers, vision systems and software. Debuting in the packaging application area as UR+ products are Dorner’s 2200 Series Conveyor and SKF Motion Technologies’ LIFTKIT.

The Dorner conveyors are designed to be the infeed and discharge to Universal Robots and feature the first plug-and-play conveyor-tracking solution for collaborative robots.

The LIFTKIT is a vertical positioning system, adding a 7th axis to the UR10e cobot that will be palletizing with the Schmalz FXB vacuum gripper. The liftkit comes ready to install including a telescopic pillar, controller, and UR+ software plugin.

Dispelling cobot myths The screw-driving applications cover the full range of UR cobot capabilities, from the UR3e table-top cobot assembling PCB boards, UR5e cobots equipped with Robotiq’s 2F-140 grippers performing screw insertion in electrical cabinets, to the UR10e utilizing an Atlas Copco Nutrunner to install bolts into a six-cylinder engine block provided by an active UR customer.

Another myth UR is seeking to dispel is the notion that cobots are not suited for processing applications such as spraying, polishing, dispensing, and sanding. A recent example is Dynabrade’s robotic sanders that come in a UR+ kit including vacuum-ready pneumatic sanders, robot mount, and a solenoid enabling robotic operation.

AI For Process Control Boosts Cement Plant

AI For Process Control Boosts Cement Plant

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is quite the buzz word. Mention in general conversation, say if you are Axios or The New York Times, and public response is that it is something evil that will take all our jobs away.

Of course, like all technology from the beginning of human history AI can be good or bad depending upon who uses it for what reason.

Now, let me add a second stream to this brief essay. Advanced Process Control, or APC. There are some excellent APC products on the market that I’ve written about over the years. The problem I’ve heard about over those same years relates to keeping the model updated. Too many people (read managers) seem to think you set it up once and then it lasts forever. That could not be further from reality.

Yesterday I had a conversation with Pervez Choudhry, Vice President for Business at Petuum. This is a company started through AI research at Carnegie Mellon University by Eric Xing. He hired a number of Ph.D.s and post-doctoral researchers in AI along with domain experts in industries he targeted for markets and went to work.

My BS antennae always activate at the sound of AI in a press release. So, I asked Choudhry what Petuum meant by the term. That’s when he told me about the research and researchers. AI relates to machine learning. Getting a data set from a process and self-learning from new data feedback from the process.

I’m more impressed by the business model than the technology. The company hosts the application in the cloud deployed as “AI as a Service”. This system addresses the problem so many have run into about maintaining the model as the process morphs over time. A company worth watching. They could well disrupt (in a good way) this particular market.

The press release that provoked my curiosity promoted a new use case—supervised autonomous cement plant operations for CEMEX—a global building materials company.

The two companies entered into a global agreement where CEMEX can implement Petuum “Industrial AI Autopilot” with “autosteer” in all cement plants worldwide for autonomous cement plant operations. The Petuum Industrial AI Autopilot product for cement plant operations are being deployed at select CEMEX USA and Mexico plants, and will continue to be rolled out globally in 2019.

The Petuum Industrial AI Autopilot suite of products deliver real-time precise forecasts for key process variables, prescriptions for critical control variables and supervised autosteer aligned with business objectives for all cement plant operations including clinker cooler, preheater, rotary kiln, pyro process, ball mill and vertical mill processes to achieve lowered energy consumption, optimized fuel mix and increased throughput while maintaining stable operation and high product quality. Additionally, the fuel mix optimization Autopilot enables alignment of global operational excellence initiatives with local site priorities.

The joint CEMEX and Petuum teams achieved a cruise-control-like supervised “autosteer mode,” where the AI Autopilot could run operations with full engage/disengage control available to the operator.

“Petuum Industrial AI Autopilot helped us achieve something we didn’t think was possible at this time,” said Rodrigo Quintero, operations digital technologies manager at CEMEX. “We expect our yield improvements and energy savings to be up to seven percent, from the connected AI-based autopilots, which is game changing for our industry. Additionally, this is a giant step in digital transformation towards safe, highly standardized operations, that will help us strengthen our high-quality products portfolio while also ensuring we meet our operational and sustainability goals, and to minimize costs.”

The Autopilot products deployed at CEMEX for the rotary kiln and clinker cooler systems are integrated with plant control systems and OSIsoft PI data infrastructure for scalable, standardized and rapid deployments across multiple lines and plants globally.

The Autopilot products, developed and operationalized on the Petuum AI platform, can ingest data from a variety of sources including unstructured, images, structured, time series, CRM, ERP and others. The Petuum platform provides sophisticated data processing, cleansing and machine/deep learning pipelines used to implement advanced AI that is sensitive to linear, temporal, long range and non-linear data patterns in a range of industrial use cases.

“Our collaboration with CEMEX has allowed us to demonstrate that resource and skill-intensive advanced AI technologies, previously used to address complex problems only in limited settings, can now achieve tangible business impact in a wide range of real-world industrial environments,” said Dr. Eric Xing, CEO of Petuum. “We are able to achieve new levels of automation, accelerating the journey to Industry 4.0. Our vision is to bring AI benefits to a wide range of businesses in a highly cost-effective and fast manner, solving challenges that can’t be addressed by traditional techniques.”

CEMEX and Petuum will continue close collaboration to deploy additional Autopilot use-cases such as emissions reduction, fuel-mix (alternative fuel) optimization, kiln refractory, preventive maintenance, etc. for global cement plants and expand Petuum Industrial AI Autpilot to other operations worldwide.

Digital and Autonomous Highlight ABB Strategy

Digital and Autonomous Highlight ABB Strategy

It starts with digital then moving toward autonomous processes. I’ve written about the strategy ABB has followed for the past four years since Ulrich Spiesshofer assumed the CEO post. We can summarize much of the strategy and also technology roadmap from those two words.

Spiesshofer brought in Guido Jouret in 2017 from Cisco for the role of Chief Digital Officer with the task of bringing digital to all business units. He has made a lot of progress in this short period of time.

Jouret elaborated, “We aren’t trying to be a software company, but hardware requires software.”

Kevin Kosisko, business unit managing director power generation & water, industrial automation and my interview about all things digital at the ABB Customer World conference. We talked about what autonomous meant. “Things we can do without sending people,” he told me. “For example, consider an oil platform taking the first step toward autonomous. Say they must take down a well for routine inspections and then bring it back up. It’s a difficult task, not to mention danger of flying crew to platform and being in the environment. So a combination of digital + autonomous to remove as much human intervention as possible. They took 2 days out of the entire process. That’s 2 additional days of production.”

Two things he told me that highlighted themes I would hear later. The first as “autonomous” being toward the end of a continuum going beyond preventive and predictive. Second, to use the digital twin model to help operators and engineers remove manual steps from a process.

Later I found a spot at the back of a full house for a panel on autonomous—The Journey Towards Autonomy in Industrial Operations Panelists were:

  • Matthias Roese, Chief Technologist Manufacturing & Automotive, HPE
  • Hakon Berg, Technology Development Manager, ABB
  • Dr. Zied Ouertani, Global Digital Lead, Chemicals, ABB
  • David Funderberg, Technology Manager, Chemical and Refining, ABB

Businesses in the industrial space have undergone a paradigm shift to move from isolated operations to collaborative and ultimately more autonomous operations. By 2025 we will witness humans working with systems in a collaborative way, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) seamlessly. Disruptive technologies like AI, machine learning and augmented reality (AR) have all changed the way we do everyday tasks and in some cases made them autonomous. Hands-free collaboration can help repair remote issues or predict plant incidents.

The goal does not include taking humans out of the loop. I’m afraid I instigated a post-panel discussion where an editor argued that very definition of autonomous is “without humans”. So, he was asking the usual question you get from newspaper reporters and politicians—are they doing away with humans in production and manufacturing. Rebuttal came from one of the panelists who suggested he look at autonomous as part of a continuum, e.g., preventive->predictive->prescriptive->self-healing->operates with minimal supervision. This is applicable probably not to an entire plant, but to certain processes.

Digital

Guido Jouret spoke later on the status of digital at ABB following two years into his digital transformation leadership. He said the digital emphasis has led to more interactions with customers. And there are 185% 18.5% more customers year over year. ABB gets invited at earlier stages of the project process allowing it more input and influence. The company also has better C-level conversations with customers. ABB Ability should be considered a new technology platform.

Chip Enhances Robotics Platform

Chip Enhances Robotics Platform

More news filtering out of Barcelona and the Mobile World Conference. Someday, maybe I’ll make it there. Lots of news. This one about enhancing robotics.

In this announcement, Qualcomm has launched Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform. The platform is the company’s first comprehensive end-to-end robotics development platform that features heterogeneous computing architecture with support for artificial intelligence (AI) processing, additional camera, sensors, and video modules. I received this update from ABI Research.

Aside from Qualcomm’s in-house software development kits (SDK), the platform also supports Linux, Robot Operating System (ROS), and Amazon AWS Robomaker, making it very accessible to robotics creators and developers. Most importantly, the platform features integrated support for LTE cellular connectivity and future upgradability to 5G. This latter supports the talk of the week at the conference. (Not surprisingly, no talk of 6G 😉

Commercial robots are now supporting new use-cases where they need to be autonomous, agile, intelligent, and self-aware of their environments.

For applications such as last mile delivery, retail assistance, construction, tower inspection, construction and mining, robots need to support new capabilities beyond just function automation and control, for instance acquiring a high level of autonomous perception, navigation and agile manipulation capabilities in real-time. This is where platforms such as Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform come to play. Thanks to its support for a wide range of sensors and the ability to use these sensors to dynamically manage, control, and schedule the robots’ functions, platforms such as Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform provides the robot with the required intelligence and enable them to make informed decisions during their operation in line with the task expected from them.

Some Qualcomm’s competitors have already launched similar platforms; these include Nvidia’s Jetson, and Intel RealSense, although both platforms have mainly focused on machine-vision applications which provide the robot a full autonomy for its operation. In contrast, Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform comes with embedded connectivity, enabling robots to communicate with the outside world. This ability not only allows the robot to augment the self-awareness of its environment but also provides the robot with additional capabilities including better collaboration with humans and machines.

At present, the adoption of LTE in outdoor robotics remains low. However, future potential is huge. Qualcomm may be early in the game by incorporating LTE connectivity into its platform, but this will get early adopters to commit to the hardware, with anticipation for 5G support in the future.

ABI Research estimates the shipment of robots with cellular connectivity, including LTE and 5G, to reach 950,000 units by 2027. This is a US$48 billion market opportunities targeted by robotics developers, chipset vendors, camera and sensor manufacturers, and robotics software and service providers.

5G’s low latency enables robotics vendors to host some of the existing onboard capabilities to the cloud and introduce new capabilities to existing robotics hardware. Existing onboard capabilities, such as object and people detection, path planning and optimization, can be shifted to the cloud to benefit from a larger set of data lake. At the same time, the robotics system will have access to capabilities that cannot be previously hosted on an existing system.

At present, remote control appears to be the focus, with Toyota’s T-HR3 and Naver’s AMBITEX, but the real game-changers will be conversational AI and swarm intelligence. With 5G, enterprise users will be able to connect their fleet of outdoor robots to the cloud and enjoy the performance, scalability, and flexibility of the cloud-based intelligence.

What impact the technology will have on the robotics industry in the future?

Moving forward, cellular connectivity, especially 5G, will become the de facto connectivity method for outdoor commercial robots for many reasons.

  • As a global standard, LTE and 5G enjoy economies of scale. This brings down the total cost of ownership of cellular networks and the price of cellular modem chipsets, allowing robotics developers to integrate 5G connectivity with ease. This seems to be the strategy that Qualcomm is taking with its robotics portfolio, and the launch of Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform is certainly a step in the right direction.
  • Although Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform does not support 5G at this stage, it lays out the foundation for augmenting the self-awareness capabilities in the future. 5G will enable robots to augment their self-awareness capabilities compared to fully autonomous robots, for instance identifying moving or static obstacles even if they are far away and not in the line of sight with the robot.
  • In the future, this will enable better collaboration between robots and humans or other machines in their environments. Humans will be able to control robots from a remote distance in near real time. At the same time, a fleet of robots will be able to exchange information as they are connected to the cloud platform via cellular connectivity, and coordinate among themselves to perform a specific task or duty.
Last of ARC Industry Forum Interview Notes

Last of ARC Industry Forum Interview Notes

ARC’s annual Industry Forum gathering provided an opportunity rare these days of meeting with a wide variety of people and companies. Today’s post summarizes most of the rest of information gathered not previously published.

Interestingly, IIoT was not a major theme. Perhaps it underlies the other things. Most of the time we talked security and software. This round up involves Schneider Electric, Bedrock Automation, Bentley Systems, Siemens, and ioTium.

Profitable Safety for Industry

Schneider Electric has announced EcoStruxure Process Safety Advisor, an IIoT-based digital process safety platform and service that enables customers to visualize and analyze real-time hazardous events and risks to their enterprise-wide assets, operations and business performance.

Safety Advisor is built on Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure SIF Manager application for tracking and validating safety instrumented function (SIF) performance over the life of a plant. It provides a single view into the health and status of the user’s safety instrumented functions, which helps to identify potential risks and their impact on operations performance.

It also identifies the need to take corrective action via easy-to-understand performance dashboards and leading indicators for safety health and then documents the entire process using an embedded SIF audit trail that supports safety compliance.

Safety Advisor enables customers to understand their risks within minutes, and then act decisively to drive better business results.

Bedrock Automation

Albert Rooyakkers, Bedrock Automation CEO, pointed to advances with Bedrock’s offering including “Zero Cost Software”, having an OSA Proxy, using MQTT Sparkplug-B secure, Role-Based access control, and a partnership with SI firm Wood Group.

Wood’s automation and control group will deliver Bedrock Open Secure Automation (OSA) to its clients in energy and industrial markets. Wood has active membership in The Open Process Automation Forum, which is focused on the development of a standards-based, open, secure, interoperable process control architecture.

“This partnership centers on combining our diverse capabilities and innovative solutions in automation with Bedrock’s OSAtechnology to bring open and secure systems to our clients, advancing our position as a world leading automation providerand bringing greater cyber protection to our client’s projects,” said Jeff Shannon, Senior Manager of Strategy and Development in Wood’s automation and control group.

Planning and Design Assessment Solutions for Grid Modernization

Bentley Systems announced availability of OpenUtilities DER Planning & Design Assessment Solutions that provide decision support and cost-based models and simulations for Distributed Energy Resources (DER) integration.

In partnership with Siemens’ Digital Grid business unit, OpenUtilities Solutions for DER empowers electric utilities, electricity suppliers, and distribution network operators (DSO) with software applications to analyze, design, and evaluate DER interconnection requests through desktop and cloud-based services, while supporting the reliability and resilience of network operations.

The solutions generate an electrical digital twin for utilities – a GIS digital twin that enables owner/operators to more efficiently model the grid for decentralized energy without compromising safety and reliability. Digital twins can provide huge efficiencies in grid operations by streamlining DER interconnection applications with optimized workflows to better assess operational impacts, long-term strategic scenarios and investment decisions.

OpenUtilities Design Optioneering advances OpenUtilities Analysis one step further with cost-based decision support for planning and designing complex utility networks with DER. The application provides the ability to analyze both planned and existing infrastructure, optimize equipment sizing, and estimate materials and labor costs for DER projects. This helps utilities minimize design construction costs associated with DER and streamline the DER interconnection process with detailed cost estimation included with the impact analysis studies.

ioTium

Finally, I talked with Ron Victor of ioTium. The product consists of a soft node on, for example, a Dell Gateway device providing baked-in security. It runs as server in cloud enabling easier deployment.

ioTium’s IoT network isolates IT and OT network and data, preventing IT traffic from touching OT traffic and thus eliminating the possibility of backdoor threats. Further, ioTium isolates data streams from different sub-systems, preventing a compromise on one sub-system from affecting any other sub-system.

ioTium’s virtualized edge platform enables deployment, update and upgrade of edge services across thousands of remote sites in one click from the cloud, making analytics, DPI, machine learning, encryption, compression and more possible closer to the data source.

Much Is Happening At The Edge

Much Is Happening At The Edge

The world is in Barcelona at the Mobile World Conference (except for me). But that’s OK, I’m seeing plenty of news. Much of it relates to the Edge. And as 5G heats up, expect that to emphasize compute at the edge even further. (Talk of 6G is best left for politicians who by and large are not technical…)

This news comes from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) where VP and GM Tom Bradicich has been using Twitter to tease this week’s announcement. HPE Edgeline EL8000 Converged Edge System designed to help communication service providers (CSP) capitalize on data-intensive, low-latency services for media delivery, connected mobility, and smart cities. The system enables CSPs to process vast amounts of data in real time directly at the edge, based on open standards to boost flexibility and reduce costs. HPE also announced collaborations with Samsung and Tech Mahindra to accelerate CSPs 5G adoption, leveraging the HPE Edgeline EL8000 Converged Edge System to deploy the next generation of edge-centric virtual 5G applications.

IDC forecasts that more than 150 billion devices will be connected across the globe by 2025, most of which will be creating data in real time. As a result, IDC predicts real-time data to represent nearly 30 percent of the Global Datasphere by 2025. Estimated to be 33 zettabytes in 2018, IDC forecasts the Global Datasphere to grow to 175 zettabytes by 2025.

To deliver new services that tap into this massive growth of real-time data, CSPs must transform their telecommunications network edge towards standard IT systems and software-defined architectures, such as virtual radio access networks (vRAN) and virtual cable modem termination systems (vCMTS). The open-standards-based HPE Edgeline EL8000 Converged Edge System was therefore developed as a cost effective replacement for CSPs’ current proprietary edge systems, with enhanced performance and versatility for data-intensive real-time digital services. Additionally, the HPE Edgeline EL8000 Converged Edge System’s unique design delivers high performance and ultra-low latency for the most demanding use cases, including media streaming, IoT, artificial intelligence, and video analytics, in a compact and ruggedized form factor, equipped with edge-optimized serviceability and remote systems management.

“CSPs have come a long way in virtualizing their networks. As this continues, the distribution of converged communications and compute capacity throughout the network will accelerate lower costs and improve service”, said Dr. Tom Bradicich, Vice President and General Manager, Converged Servers, Edge and IoT Systems, HPE. “The HPE Edgeline EL8000 Converged Edge System delivers the capabilities of closed proprietary systems and more, but on an open-standards platform, combined with proven data-center class IT.”

The EL8000 delivers the capabilities of closed proprietary systems but on an open-standards platform

Designed for the real-life challenges

The massive growth of data volumes requires that CSPs deploy high-performance edge systems in their cell sites, often in remote and harsh environments. Moreover, this infrastructure must support many workload and quality-of-service requirements for which tailored slices of the network are employed. The HPE Edgeline EL8000 Converged Edge System delivers an combination of capabilities to meet these challenges, including:

  • Compact and ruggedized design optimized for harsh cell-site locations – Exceeding the requirements of industry standards NEBS and ASHRAE class 3 and 4, the system is resistant against hazardous environmental influences like heat, shock and vibration, as well as failover, supporting continuous operation between 0 and 55 degrees Celsius. The system can run rack mounted or stand-alone in any space available, with either a front-to-back and back-to-front cooling design.
  • Low-latency, high-performance system design powers data-intensive applications at the edge – The single-socket design, equipped with high-end Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors, reduces latency and energy consumption. System components can be combined, scaled and hot-swapped to meet changing demands, supporting, among others, NVIDIA® Tesla® GPUs, FPGAs from Intel and Xilinx, NICs from Intel or Mellanox, up to 1.5TB of memory and 16TB of storage.
  • Modular blade and chassis options for use-case flexibility – With a range of depth and width options for blades and chassis, the system can be flexibly configured and scaled to meet new or changing use-case requirements. The flexible design allows CSPs to extend small- and micro-cell deployments, ensuring that cellular coverage can keep pace with increasing numbers of connected devices.
  • One-click provisioning and remote systems management ensures continuous availability and performance in far-flung cell-sites – HPE’s proven HPE iLO 5 technology and the newly developed chassis manager software enable remote provisioning, ongoing system health monitoring, updates, and management of HPE Edgeline EL8000 Converged Edge Systems across thousands of cell sites, from cell towers to oil rigs, without needing IT expertise on site.

“Collaboration between HPE and Intel has resulted in this versatile platform for network transformation at the edge,” said Sandra L. Rivera, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Network Platforms Group, Intel. “Powered by Intel Xeon Scalable processors and based on open standards, the HPE Edgeline EL8000 Converged Edge System will enable high performance, flexible and intelligent networks that are required to deliver high bandwidth and low latency for edge and 5G services.”

Converged communications

HPE and Samsung Electronics Corporation (SEC) are collaborating to provide a joint edge-to-core vRAN commercial solution based on Samsung’s radio network technologies and system integration services and the HPE Edgeline EL8000 Converged Edge System.

“Samsung and HPE combine their strengths in radio networks, edge systems, and telecommunications infrastructure to drive the change towards a standard-IT based and software-defined network edge,” said Wonil Roh, Vice President, Head of Technology Strategy at Samsung Network Business. “The HPE Edgeline EL8000 Converged Edge System will play a key role in Samsung’s challenge to evolve our customers’ networks with 5G vRAN demanding intense low-latency.”

While some CSPs aim to deploy 5G from 2020 onwards, others may not be able to do so for a few years, potentially leaving entire regions without 5G coverage. As part of this interim process CSPs are turning to multi-access edge computing (MEC) software, which delivers many of the benefits of 5G, but using 4G LTE infrastructure. For this reason, HPE is collaborating with Tech Mahindra, a global leader in MEC software, to deliver MEC solutions based on the HPE Edgeline EL8000 Converged Edge System.

“Our collaboration with HPE and the introduction of the HPE Edgeline EL8000 Converged Edge System is a major step for driving a fast and smooth transformation towards open standards at the edge in the Telco and Comms marketplace,” said Karthikeyan Natarajan, Global Head, Engineering, IoT & Enterprise Mobility, Tech Mahindra. “As a leader in Telco and Comms software and services, Tech Mahindra sees HPE as ideally positioned to help us deliver significantly improved user experiences, particularly through the often-uneven transformation from 4G to 5G.”

Availability

The HPE Edgeline EL8000 Converged Edge System will be available worldwide from June 2019.

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