5G trials explore two industrial use cases: augmented reality and a telepresence robot for remote visits
Orange has partnered with the energy management and automation company Schneider Electric for the deployment of 5G inside Vaudreuil, a French factory located in the French industrial sector. The trial has been operational since March and, according to the companies, “aims to use 5G in a modern industrial environment to create reliable, scalable and sustainable connectivity solutions for future industrial needs.”
5G promises improved capabilities in a number of areas, but when it comes to the industrial sector in particular, the next generation of cellular technology is expected to help synchronize large amounts of data in real time, improving performance and ensuring reliability. optimum production efficiency.
Nokia acts as an infrastructure partner on the trials and provided the AirScale radio and basic equipment, and the experimental frequencies tested were assigned by the French regulatory authority. The factory was fitted with five indoor 5G antennas that cover nearly 2,000 square meters of production space with download speeds of over 1 Gbps, and an experimental network architecture was put in place to enable processing. local data with cutting-edge technologies.
The trials explore two specific industrial use cases: augmented reality for maintenance and the implementation of a telepresence robot for remote visits.
Use case # 1: augmented reality for maintenance
5G-connected tablets run EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor (AOA), Schneider Electric’s augmented reality app that the company says improves operational efficiency by allowing operators to overlay real-time data and virtual objects on a cabinet, a machine or an entire plant.
5G brings the benefit of low latency, maximum throughput and scalability to augmented reality.
“5G can support the growing needs for bandwidth and responsiveness,” the companies said in a statement. “Operators using the AOA application via their 5G connected tablet film a machine and access information on its status and future maintenance which is hosted in the cloud in real time. This helps reduce machine downtime and streamline maintenance operations, while minimizing human error. “
Use case # 2: telepresence robot
The second use case tested by the pair involves using a 5G-compatible telepresence robot to organize remote visits to the Le Vaudreuil plant. The high-quality video functionality made possible by 5G will facilitate virtual interactions between site visitors and factory guides, helping to minimize travel time, costs and waste in the form of visitors’ carbon footprint. .
Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange, described these two use cases as “powerful and competitive levers that will allow the full potential of Industry 4.0”.
“5G is a revolutionary technology for businesses that will bring many industrial applications, such as predictive maintenance, real-time video processing, augmented reality and telepresence,” he added.
“The health, economic and climatic challenges make digitization more important than ever for companies”, comments Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric. “The pilot carried out with Orange in Vaudreuil in a Schneider Electric industrial showcase validates many use cases for 5G: augmented reality, distance everywhere, real-time access to data… The reliability, scalability and durability of 5G make it a connectivity solution well suited to Industry 4.0, for greater resilience, competitiveness and sustainability. ”
Last year Ericsson, Telia and Volvo conducted similar industrial trials at Volvo CE’s research center in Sweden. The trials explored remote control of construction machinery and fully automated solutions, as well as ways to increase industry efficiency and sustainability through 5G testing.