Ericsson, Telia deploy IoT network at Ericsson’s Tallinn plant
Swedish vendor Ericsson and Nordic-based service provider Telia have brought automated guided vehicles, augmented reality (AR), and a huge number of sensors to life at Ericsson’s manufacturing facility in Tallinn, Estonia, via a dedicated cellular network.
The Tallinn supply site is one of Ericsson’s largest manufacturing units, incorporating R&D activities and volume production.
Ericsson said that the new mobile communication network is delivering the capacity, customization, and control needed to scale and secure the connected factory, improving manufacturing operations.
To increase production efficiency at the production facility, Telia and Ericsson jointly piloted a new dedicated cellular network for Internet of Things (IoT) within the factory. With testing finalized in June, the network now supports three innovative processes to enable more efficient production.
The first solution to benefit from the dedicated cellular network is Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) delivering product components from warehouse to the production lines.
Ericsson highlighted that the AGVs can now communicate with the control system, provide a live stream of data and video, as well as use the dedicated network to open doors.
The second solution is Augmented Reality (AR) troubleshooting, which is providing an interactive method for the quality control and testing of electronics components. By using AR glasses or terminals, the troubleshooter gets an overlay with all manuals, instructions and collective knowledge of other troubleshooters, allowing them to quickly identify potential problems, the vendor said.
The third solution enables the Tallinn factory to monitor the environment using mobile sensors to measure moisture, temperature, noise, light, and carbon dioxide. The dedicated cellular network has the capacity to handle thousands of sensors in a factory, allowing them to be relocated as the layout of the factory evolves.
“The Ericsson factory becomes the first in Estonia to implement these innovative solutions using private networks and industry connect for cellular IoT,” said Robert Pajos, CEO of Telia in Estonia. “Companies have a need to connect everything in their production environment, including sensors, tools, robots, vehicles and the goods they handle or produce. As the demand to connect more things increases, the need for high-quality networks grows with it. 4G and 5G mobile communications is the best option for secure, reliable connectivity with high throughput and low latency.”
“Mobile networks meet the requirements to support diverse smart manufacturing use cases, making it possible to securely and efficiently optimize manufacturing processes,” said Lars Ottoson, head of Supply Site Tallinn at Ericsson. “They allow massive real-time data collection and analytics and intelligent automation on the factory floor, solving operational challenges and creating a more sustainable, efficient and safer production environment.”
In April this year, Ericsson announced a partnership with ABB to deploy an intelligent automation system at its manufacturing facility in Tallinn throughout 2019, beginning with the Ericsson Radio System portfolio.
Ericsson said that it will subsequently combine this system with its own connectivity layer – adding machine learning and artificial intelligence to its production, enabling real-time data analytics and an end-to-end predictive automated manufacturing chain.
As part of the agreement, ABB will provide a fully automated flexible robot cell solution for final assembly of 5G radios.