Ericsson put its money where its mouth is regarding 5G use cases, completing an automation project at a factory in Estonia in conjunction with operator Telia.
The vendor, which last week discussed the importance of developing 5G use cases as part of the evolution of the technology with Mobile World Live, deployed automated guided vehicles (AGVs), AR tech and environmental sensors at its 25,000 square metre facility in Tallinn, using a private network operated by Telia.
In a statement, Ericsson said the automation project delivers “the capacity, customisation and control needed to scale and secure the connected factory”, providing an overall improvement in manufacturing operations.
Lars Ottoson, head of Supply Site Tallinn at Ericsson, explained the move proves the ability of mobile networks to “support diverse smart manufacturing use cases”. He cited the ability to gather and analyse data in real time and delivery of intelligent automation on factory floors as key benefits, creating “a more sustainable, efficient and safer production environment”.
Telia Estonia’s CEO Robert Pajos said the factory demonstrates the potential of private 5G networks to meet companies’ need “to connect everything in their production environment including sensors, tools, robots, vehicles and the goods they handle or produce”.
Ericsson explained AGVs are being used to move components from the warehouse to the production line, a “labour intensive, costly and repetitive task”. The AGVs cut the time taken to deliver parts and the risk of damage, using the cellular network to livestream data and video, and open doors on their route.
AR glasses and terminals are being used to troubleshoot, providing interactive testing of components quality control processes. The vendor stated field tests showed the approach can halve the time taken to resolve problems in circuit boards.
Meanwhile, environmental monitoring sensors scrutinise levels of moisture, temperature, noise, light and carbon dioxide with the aim of improving working conditions for staff.
Ericsson stated the dedicated network has “capacity to handle thousands” of devices, which can be redeployed as factory layouts are changed.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back