Hitachi Launches Industrial Edge Computer CE Series Embedded AI Model

By Shin Kai

Company and Product News

Hitachi, Ltd. announced the launch of "Hitachi Industrial Edge Computer CE series Embedded AI model", that was developed in collaboration with Intel Corporation.  The product, an integration of Intel's AI technology and Hitachi's highly reliable control system design and manufacturing technologies, is a new model that incorporates an image analysis execution platform using AI and deep learning.  Through providing this product, Hitachi contributes to the expansion of digital transformation, such as streamlining and automating tasks that rely on visual checks (the inspection process for finished products in the manufacturing industry) and solving management challenges using on-site data.

Hitachi collaborated with Intel and developed the model as an edge computer that will enable the effective allocation of on-site workers and achieve automation and labor saving.  With a built-in image analysis execution platform that uses Intel's AI and deep learning, the product will allow the easy introduction of solutions using AI functionality on site.  For example, by incorporating an application that analyzes images from a variety of cameras installed on site and then determines whether the assembly work is being done correctly according to procedure, the product can reduce the need for manual inspection of finished goods, resulting in labor saving.  In addition, data integration and data sharing with existing business systems can be performed on this product, with an application that collects data from a PLC and other on-site devices, images of the on-site environment, and data related to power voltage, vibration, temperature and relative humidity.

These enable rapid identification of the affected range in the event of defects, and the detection of environmental changes that may affect the quality of finished goods, contributing to the reduction of loss costs and improvement of the quality of finished goods.  Furthermore, the product makes it possible to integrally monitor multiple remote production bases and lines, which is expected to optimize the production activities of companies.

Intel's OpenVINO toolkit is pre-installed on the image analysis execution platform of this product to leverage AI and deep learning.  By using a variety of pre-trained models that are optimized via the OpenVINO toolkit on the CPU, the detection of objects, estimation of structures, and other solutions using AI functionality that could not be achieved by conventional embedded devices can be easily performed.  With its thermal design that encompasses Intel's Atom processor's low power consumption feature and Hitachi's knowhow gained through the development of Hitachi's information and control systems, the product achieves a fanless, slitless, and spindleless structure that can also be installed in harsh environments, such as manufacturing sites.

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