With an assist from China Unicom and Huawei, Exquisite Automotive Systems Co., Ltd. is evolving its digital industrial infrastructure by deploying a commercial 5G-Advanced flexible production line that features ultra-high reliability and ultra-low latency.
The Baoding Automation Technology Branch of Exquisite Automotive (EA) deploy is rolling out the 5G-Advanced equipment for a car roof production line. Traditional industrial control relies on wired networks to realize the serial connection and control of terminal equipment. However, after a certain period of operations, wire abrasion in mobile application scenarios, including robot arms, slide units, and swiveling tables, often results in production interruptions, causing an average of about 60 hours of downtime a year.
5G-Advanced networks provide ultra-high reliability and ultra-low latency, making them a fit for high-end core manufacturing processes that require high-response speeds. Wireless industrial networks can completely eliminate the constraints of wires, facilitating easier network deployment and more flexible manufacturing. 5G-Advanced networks also boost efficiency by integrating multiple functions such as data collection (IT) and industrial control (OT) functions that are provided by two separate private lines in wired networks.
Located in Baoding, Hebei, EA is a subsidiary of Great Wall Motor Co., Ltd. (GWM), responsible for the development of intelligent equipment and the design and integration of automated production lines for GWM and other auto companies. These new capabilities have been verified in EA's 5G-Advanced industrial Internet lab and will deployed on the company’s commercial production lines in short order.
“Digitalization is a must for the transformation and upgrade of manufacturing enterprises,” said Yuan Zhanjiang, deputy general manager of EA's Industry Intelligence Department, at a press conference announcing the collaboration. “5G-Advanced features ultra-high reliability, low latency, and easy deployment. We will seize the opportunity presented by enterprise transformation and leverage digital technologies to continually improve our smart manufacturing capabilities, contributing to the transformation and upgrade of GWM and the wider manufacturing industry.”
Today, many countries view industrial digital transformation as a new driver of economic growth and are striving to make manufacturing increasingly digital, connected, and intelligent. Digital operations are now a must for manufacturing enterprises, and flexible smart manufacturing is continuously gaining traction.
Fan Ji'an, China Unicom’s chief big data scientist, confirmed the company is following suit and accelerating the construction of digital infrastructure and innovating with digital technologies.
“Powered by 5G-Advanced, industrial applications are moving from auxiliary production to core production systems,” Fan said. “We are seeing more typical 5G-Advanced applications appear in key scenarios, further driving the manufacturing industry to go digital.” Moreover, China Unicom believes that 5G-Advanced applications can create greater value for enterprises. “We are willing to work with all sectors to create new momentum for innovation and promote high-quality development by integrating the digital and real economies,” Fan continued.
The global industry is actively promoting the development of 5G-Advanced. During the Global Mobile Broadband Forum that concluded last month, 13 global operators, including China Unicom, jointly launched the first wave of 5G-Advanced networks, marking the transition of 5G-Advanced from technical verification to commercial deployment. 2024 will mark the first year of 5G-Advanced's commercial use.
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