IBM smashes the US patent record
IBM has now broken the US patent record with 8,088 patents granted in 2016.
Last year, IBM’s inventors were granted over 22 patents per day, ensuring that the company is the first ever to surpass 8,000 in a year. More than 2,700 of the inventions were related to AI, cognitive and cloud computing, allowing computers to learn and process diverse types of data.
There are around 8,500 IBM inventors across the US and the world. New York inventors accounted for 2,700 of last year’s patents, with Texas and California boasting 1,000 each. IBM continues to grow, having pledged to hire another 25,000 Americans over the next four years, and the US is home to more than half of the company’s $5.4 billion annual R&D investment.
Ginni Rometty, IBM’s Chairman, President, and CEO, said: “Leading the world in innovation for 24 years in a row is a result of IBM’s unmatched commitment to innovation and R&D – reflected in this year’s new US patent record, breaking the 8,000 barrier for the first time. We are deeply proud of our inventors’ unique contributions to discovery, science, and technology that are driving progress across business and society and opening the new era of cognitive business.”
According to IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, the top 10 US patent recipients is as follows:
1. IBM – 8,088
2. Samsung Electronics – 5,518
3. Canon – 3,665
4. Qualcomm – 2,897
5. Google – 2,835
6. Intel – 2,784
7. LG Electronics – 2,428
8. Microsoft – 2,398
9. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. – 2,288
10. Sony – 2,181
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Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.