Home5GSchneider Electric taps NTT for private 5G for smart factories and data centres

Schneider Electric taps NTT for private 5G for smart factories and data centres

Industrial automation and energy management provider Schneider Electric is to install NTT’s new private 5G solution at its flagship ‘smart factory’ production facility in Lexington, Kentucky, and progressively through the French firm’s factories and data centres. It appears, as well, that Schneider Electric will resell NTT’s private 5G product with its own industrial tech suite, including as part of its prefabricated’ data centre offer to cloud providers.

NTT’s private 5G as-a-service platform (branded P5G), launched last August, uses a cloud-based LTE and 5G core network from US-based CBRS-champ Celona. Its in-house brands NTT Transatel and NTT Data are providing the global roaming and IT services functions alongside. Celona calls the NTT proposition a “convergence of enterprise networking, old-school telecom, and cloud native infrastructure.”

The core network in the P5G offer is offered as containerized microservices to operate on Microsoft Azure and AWS, confirmed NTT. A number of industrial IoT applications are being integrated with the service. The new Lexington installation for Schneider Electric is being primed to solve challenges around equipment availability, machine performance, and product quality. 

A statement said: “The companies will integrate ‘machine vision’ capabilities into existing factory and warehouse automation systems that identify faults as well as wear and tear for incident root cause in near real-time.” The pair listed certain other use cases, alongside, including wireless management and control of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and augmented reality solutions to enable remote worker support for equipment maintenance.

The pair will run a co-innovation programme to develop a model for “operational integrity management that scales across a broad footprint of global factory environments to power Industry 4.0, enabling network edge platforms,” they said. A press note said Schneider Electric’s prefab data centres offer sustainable and reliable capacity for cloud and service providers

A statement said: “NTT will deploy its private 5G services and data centres with Schneider Electric technologies, including a prefabricated data centre to integrate and test its edge offerings using EcoStruxure solutions. This is expected to be 100 percent operative in Schneider Electric factories [by the summer].

Shahid Ahmed, executive vice president of new ventures and innovation at NTT, said: “NTT’s P5G solution will support Schneider Electric business and service level objectives with a powerful machine vision solution that solves for operational continuity and performance throughout the Lexington and Lincoln plant facilities. Our P5G platform brings full-stack managed services, process workflow and IoT application integration capabilities that both addresses strategic objectives towards factory high performance and net zero carbon emission goals.”

Luc Rémont, executive vice president of international operations at Schneider Electric, said: “Schneider Electric [is] further extend[ing] its manufacturing expertise along with data centre and network solutions to drive innovations for self-contained edge private 5G use-cases. Above and beyond superior security and control offered through this partnership, wireless networks offer superior benefits over a wired network from a sustainability perspective – smaller copper cabling footprint means minimising energy usage and aligning to our net-zero carbon goals.”

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