Huawei creates new group to focus on smart manufacturing
Huawei said its industry partners in this project include ABB, Bosch, Geely and KUKA among others
Huawei Wireless X Labs, together with several industry partners, have established the Wireless Connected Factory Special Interest Group (SIG) to focus on manufacturing use cases that can be supported by 5G.
Huawei said the new group and facility will focus on the field of smart manufacturing to conduct further research and promote extensive applications of 5G communication technologies in Industry 4.0.
SIG’s members include Huawei, ABB, Efort, Bosch, Beckhoff, Hikrobot, Geely, KUKA, and Shenyang Institute of Automation Chinese Academy of Sciences, among others.
A spokesperson for Huawei told Enterprise IoT Insights that Huawei X Labs and its partners are focusing on four research priorities, namely cloud-based programmable logic controllers (PLC), wireless industrial cameras, wireless controlled automated guided vehicles (AGV), and industrial wearables such as industrial AR glasses.
“Our vision is [to] find out new wireless applications or use cases in smart manufacturing before 5G coming. Huawei can provide wireless application scenario laboratory to support the joint development of SIG members and integrated verification,” the spokesperson said.
“As we all know, 3GPP defines 3 directions of 5G applications – Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Mass Machine Type Communication (mMTC) and ultra-reliable and low latency communications (uRLLC). In the smart manufacturing field, eMBB can be a video generated by a wireless industrial camera or industrial big data backhaul. The mMTC can be status monitoring based on industrial sensors, asset tracking, logistics and inventory monitoring. The uRLLC can be industrial real-time synchronous control,” he added.
According to the Chinese vendor, flexible manufacturing based on smart machines will help redefine future production lines. These next-generation machines featuring plug-and-play technology are growing increasingly flexible and can easily be adjusted to suit a diverse range of production domains, Huawei said. The vendor also said that that factories will need to be equipped with dynamic communication networks to support such smart machines.
According to an analysis carried out by Huawei Wireless X Labs, the connections in the manufacturing sector worldwide will reach 12.5 billion by 2020, with factory networks accounting for $50 billion of the potential market. At the start of 2017, X Labs targeted wireless robotics as one of its main focuses in wireless use case research.
“The mission of exploring future wireless use cases lies with X Labs,” said Ying Weimin, Huawei Wireless Research and Development President. “Huawei hopes that SIGs such as those set up by X Labs can discover and inspire many more 5G use cases and promote 5G technologies’ application in future smart manufacturing. Such efforts will contribute to the rise of connected factories.”
Huawei has also signed several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with ABB, Hikrobot, Effort, Geely, and Beckhoff. The vendor said that these recent agreements lay a solid foundation for additional cooperation between Huawei and its partners in the connected factory field.