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Ionics, IBM team up on high-tech products

/ 01:28 PM December 18, 2015

A UNIT of electronics manufacturer Ionics Inc. has teamed up with global technology giant IBM to develop high-tech products that ride on the Internet of things (IoT) using cloud, mobile and big data analytics.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday, Ionics subsidiary Ionics-EMS announced its partnership with IBM to develop IoT-based “smart factory” capability.


IoT refers to a network of physical objects like gadgets, consumer appliances or industrial equipment with embedded technology that allows communication and interaction with each other.

“The technology keys on the strengths of IBM’s cloud solutions paired with Ionics-EMS’s 42 years of manufacturing excellence and IoT product development expertise,” the disclosure said.

Based on the disclosure, Ionics-EMS will work with IBM to build a platform for the development of cloud-based apps for clients on Bluemix via the IBM Internet of Things Foundation.

Bluemix – an implementation of IBM’s open cloud architecture based on open source platform Cloud Foundry – delivers enterprise-level services that can easily integrate with cloud applications.

“The renewed collaboration between Ionics-EMS and IBM on cloud, mobile, and big data analytics marks the next generation of long standing relationship between the two companies. Together, we will bring IoT solutions to mutual customers. The smart factory would be a game-changer,” said Lawrence Qua, chair and chief executive officer of Ionics-EMS.

Cloud computing lets users access big volumes of files and applications over the Internet using multiple devices.

Big data refers to voluminous amount of data from traditional and digital sources that could be mined for valuable insights on human behavior such as trends, patterns and associations, in turn boosting business intelligence. 

“The dramatic increase of connected devices provides organizations the ability to gather near real-time data and extract new insights that weren’t possible until now,” said Luis Pineda, president and country general manager at IBM Philippines. “This is driving a major shift in the electronics industry allowing manufacturers to focus on delivering a more compelling experience to the consumer. Our relationship with Ionics-EMS is a significant step in this direction as we help bring innovation to the manufacturing industry.”

With access to services and APIs – short for “application program interface” or a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications – the disclosure said Bluemix could easily extend an Internet-connected device such as a sensor or controller into the cloud, build an application alongside the device to collect the data and send real-time insights. This is in turn seen creating more solutions for medical, social, mobile, security and IoT.


Using Ionics-EMS’ strong expertise in hardware design and four-decade experience in manufacturing, the collaboration is seen to enable manufacturing clients to develop applications for predictive analytics and draw on data from the IoT to enhance various areas such as asset performance management, operational risk management, and predictive maintenance. This will significantly improve manufacturing efficiencies and capabilities that are essential for the development of advanced devices in several IoT verticals particularly for eHealth (medical) and automotive customers, the disclosure said.

“The synergy of Ionics-EMS and IBM stems from respective positions of strength to enable the manufacturing industry capture opportunities in the era of big data analytics, IoT, cloud, and mobile, setting a higher bar for global manufacturing services,” the disclosure said.

Ionics-EMS and IBM have had a long partnership that began in 1990 and continued over the decades with evolving programs and technologies. Their IoT-based products will be demonstrated at global consumer electronics and consumer technology trade show CES 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada this January 6-9, the disclosure said.

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TAGS: Bluemix, CES 2016, cloud, IBM, internet of things, Ionics EMS, IoT
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