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|Denis Brunetti, president in Vietnam and Myanmar for Ericsson|
With digital transformation being accelerated in the manufacturing sector, what are the factors for the successful development of smart factories in Vietnam?
The next wave of socioeconomic development in Vietnam will be created through innovation, science, and technology, driven by the digital economy. A key component of Vietnam’s socioeconomic development strategy is the digital economy, which will contribute 25 per cent of GDP by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030. It will also further enhance productivity in all key economic sectors of Vietnam.
The new digital economy will be created by scientific and technological advancements and innovation, particularly in areas such as 5G, AI, machine learning, automation, cloud computing, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
With our global scale and expertise, we look forward to supporting Vietnam with the expanded deployment of 4G and 5G networks moving forward. Both 4G and 5G are enabling Vietnam to unlock the full potential of Industry 4.0 and will be the foundation upon which Vietnam can further build on its digital transformation journey and realise the government’s vision.
As the fastest and most reliable connectivity enabler, how can 5G support this effort?
According to a new report from ABI Research, deploying dedicated cellular-enabled Industry 4.0 solutions can enable new technological solutions and generate an operational cost savings return on investment of 10-20 times over five years.
The benefits and return on investment for five specific manufacturing Industry 4.0 use cases include asset tracking, condition-based monitoring, provisioning connected products, mobile robots, and AR.
The combination of high-performance private cellular networks together with digital technologies such as extended reality, AI, and digital twins is providing opportunities for enterprises to create virtual working spaces for effective collaboration across the value chain. With digital twin technology, such as that trialled by Ericsson in Italy, manufacturing enterprises can create a cloud-based factory digital twin of their production site, for example, and experiment with live shop floor data to create new novel ways of working.
For factory operations, machine failure is a costly expense, especially if it leads to prolonged operational downtime. Traditional visual inspection of factory assets can be time-consuming and even lead to an error rate as high as 30 per cent. A much leaner and less risky alternative is machine-learning-based visual inspection, now possible thanks to a combination of private cellular networks, machine learning, and AR technologies.
The rise of cellular networks within factory spaces is creating a new wave of momentum across autonomous mobile robot (AMR) technology markets.
AMRs combine powerful AI technologies with 5G’s ability to provide low latency and real-time data transfer to enable free movement of AMRs around the production environment and also open new possibilities for intelligent production chain automation, with use cases ranging from conducting inspections to moving various materials.
Meanwhile, environmental responsibility is now higher than ever on the list of business priorities for today’s industrial enterprises. One critical technology which is proving invaluable to realising both ambitious sustainability goals and important business performance indicators is IoT.
With sensors in place, factory operators have targeted various energy-saving measures, such as turning off lights and heat in vacant spaces and using water reclamation for recyclable energy, as well as others. As more factory assets connect, more energy is saved – making the system fully future-proof.
Could you share some successful case studies about digital transformation with 5G in the manufacturing sector globally?
Our own 5G Smart Factory in Texas, has been recognised by the World Economic Forum as a global front runner in Industry 4.0. It acknowledges Ericsson’s deployment of next-generation technology at the site and its subsequent impact – including an impressive 2.2 times improved output per employee when compared to a similar site without the automation and Industry 4.0 improvements.
Some of the solutions introduced at that factory have been designed to solve challenges across a variety of different areas and generate tangible and significant business impact, including cost reduction, improved uptime, improved quality, and much more. The use cases are powered by an integrated Ericsson private 5G network solution and enabled by mmWave.
In other examples, Telefónica, Ericsson, and Mercedes-Benz are building the world’s first 5G mobile network for automobile production in Germany. This factory will be the blueprint for all future vehicle assembly facilities around the world. Mercedes-Benz wanted a flexible, high-performance, and connected infrastructure to replace their traditional assembly line with automated driverless transport systems. The use of state-of-the-art 5G network technology allows Mercedes-Benz, among other things, to optimise existing production processes in its plant with the help of new features.