EdgeDock’s Executive Chairman, Andile Ngcaba spoke to SMART Security Solutions at Securex 2023 to talk about the company and what it offers to South African and African customers and partners.
EdgeDock is a subsidiary of inq, a pan-African solutions provider focusing on services in Edge AI and IoT, fabric, SDN/NFV for edge cloud, secure access services edge and elastic edge. EdgeDock is currently operating directly in South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Nigeria and Cote-d’Ivoire, with partners representing the brand in other African markets.
EdgeDock is focused on providing AI-based solutions on the edge to enhance security and digitisation challenges companies face today (although it can use cloud or hybrid solutions to suit customer requirements). It is focused primarily on working through partners to provide its AI applications to the market, offering a range of capabilities that turn IP cameras into intelligent cameras through its Vision AI solution. Its second product is Doc AI, focused on document AI and natural language.
Vision AI has been developed by EdgeDock for the African market and the AI systems have been trained on vast sets of data from Africa. It uses its own technology and rendering platform. It can offer various AI functions, from facial recognition and object detection through to licence-plate recognition and more.
The solution is designed to work with almost any management platform as it is an add-on to augment companies’ current systems. Ngcaba says the system works significantly faster than competitive products and offers a ‘single pane of glass’ solution that is camera and platform agnostic. As such, it requires no additional hardware or recording platforms. It is also integrated with most major cloud platforms to offer quick and reliable installation.
All the AI modules are pre-trained and configured so the client does not have to focus on configuring the system for their environment. These models are continually being updated and improved.
The system is designed to be partner friendly, allowing them to install an edge, cloud or hybrid solution according to their customers’ preferences. Larger clients with intricate integration requirements are handled by EdgeDock itself, but Ngcaba explains that the company’s priority is to make reliable AI available on the continent to as many customers as possible through its partner network – which it naturally wants to grow.
Vision AI in manufacturing
While the system is applicable in a variety of markets, one example in the manufacturing sector shows some of its capabilities. A cement-producing and bagging facility located in northern Malawi faced a significant challenge with a production versus loaded goods sold shortfall of approximately $2000 per day. The issue stemmed from problems with truck weighing and overloading. Trucks were bypassing the weighbridge and/or being overloaded with additional bags, which were then sold on the black market.
To tackle these challenges, the client sought a bespoke Weighbridge Monitoring System that would incorporate video analytics. The system was designed to connect to the existing weighbridge and compare the empty weight versus the counted loaded bags after loading, providing a theoretical weight for comparison, an alarm is raised if the weight is outside the predetermined threshold.
Additionally, alarms would be triggered if a truck attempted to bypass the weighbridge for loading. The system also generated daily, weekly, and monthly reports and had the ability to count factory output.
With Vision AI integrated into the existing system, the client is able to address the issues of truck weighing and overloading. It provides an efficient means to monitor truck weights, reducing the risk of theft and the sale of black-market goods. Furthermore, the daily, weekly, and monthly reports allowed the client to track productivity and improve efficiency. Overall, the implementation of the system had a positive impact on the business and helped to safeguard against future losses.
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