Airspan CBRS network goes live at Foxconn’s Wisconsin factory
As part of a larger plan to build a smart factory, Foxconn Industrial Internet (FII) in Wisconsin worked with Airspan Networks to deploy a CBRS network over which all autonomous operations across the manufacturing campus will be managed.
After revealing its smart factory plans in 2017 and entering in a partnership with Rockwell Automation to implement connected industrial IoT concepts, Foxconn had a data center built on its campus in preparation.
The Airspan CBRS platform, which is now live, was deployed over LTE-M and according to Airspan, provides the level of reliability and consistent coverage needed for the first fabrication facility built on the campus, which is a 100,000 sq. ft. and has several AGVs, assembly areas and welding stations. The network is managed by Airspan software and incorporates AirVelocity 1500 indoor cells that were strategically placed throughout the factory. FII DTUs were connected to each indoor cell and 1588 Grand Master Clock switches were also installed.
The next step in the project is to upgrade the network to 5G New Radio in mid-2021, which will incorporate Airspan’s new OpenRange platform including sub-6 GHz RU on the hardware side, and CU and DU on the software side together with Airspan’s Control platform managing the network. The upgrade is expected to provide higher performance and coverage, as well as accurate distributed timing and synchronization, which will improve factory ROI.
“This proof of concept has demonstrated the orchestration of LTE over CBRS is a functional, reliable and economical solution for automating smart factories,” Airspan’s President and CEO Eric Stonestrom commented. “We look forward to bringing further advancements to the FII Smart Manufacturing Center with the upgrade to 5G RF.”