ABB to co-develop edge computing for decentralised networks

ABB to co-develop edge computing for decentralised networks
Image courtesy ABB

Swiss tech major ABB is investing in a strategic partnership with Pratexo, an edge-to-cloud acceleration platform company, to co-develop edge computing solutions for decentralised electrical networks.

The partnership involves a minority investment in Pratexo through ABB’s venture capital unit, ABB Technology Ventures (ATV). Financial details of the investment were not disclosed.

Pratexo’s technology platform supports IoT and AI initiatives which demand compute power at the edge. The company’s technology enables the rapid set up of systems that can process huge amounts of data generated by IoT sensors and run advanced analytics in real time close to the location of the device, rather than in the cloud.

ABB’s Electrification Service will leverage Pratexo’s industry-leading, no-code development platform, Pratexo Studio, to accelerate and revolutionise how edge-to-cloud digital solutions are designed for customers, allowing them to make better decisions for future operations.

According to ABB, the collaboration will help customers deploy edge-based networks and solution architectures that provide real time insights, with the added benefits of reduced cloud data transfer volumes, improved data privacy and security and the ability to run when not connected to the internet.

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One example cited by ABB is customised, decentralised software solutions that allow distribution grid operators to manage, monitor and assess electrical systems in real time, identify what could potentially be causing machine faults and optimise at the local level to adjust to rapidly changing circumstances such as identifying and responding to changes in power availability and consumption.

“We are in a unique position to support customers in their digital transformation regardless of what stage they are at. Investing in and partnering with innovative startups like Pratexo advances our technological services capabilities to provide enhanced industry 4.0 business outcomes to our customers,” said Stuart Thompson, president of ABB’s Electrification Service Division.

Added Blaine Mathieu, CEO of Pratexo: “The last 20 years of IT have been mostly about centralising computing into the cloud. The next 10 will be about balancing that with a hybrid edge-to-cloud approach – doing the right compute at the right place and at the right level. Our close collaboration with ABB will further enable and accelerate that transition.”

The partnership is ABB’s sixth venture capital investment of 2023 and helps expand the company’s portfolio of solutions that support decarbonisation.