At Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2019 (MWC19 Shanghai), Ericsson and China Mobile demonstrated an Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) prototype on an end-to-end, stand-alone 5G network.
With the growing adoption of industry digitalization and improvements in industrial automation and intelligence, AGV is becoming increasingly prevalent in manufacturing, ports, and other industries. 5G networks’ powerful mobility management, seamless coverage and quality of service assurance enable them to provide the reliable communication needed for of various AGV applications, such as AGV tractors, AGV pallet movers or AGV forklifts.
The AGV prototype that China Mobile and Ericsson demonstrated at MWC Shanghai 2019 shows how AGV helps to automate product testing using a 5G network. This validates that a stand-alone 5G architecture can adequately be used for industry digitalization:
─ The network slicing-based Dedicated Industrial Network—This technology enhances vertical industries with networking technologies. It can help to create dedicated industrial networks based on the requirements of industrial scenarios and leverage network slicing to ensure the security and reliability of production data.
─ Edge Computing—Deploy the AGV application systems on edge clouds and use the forwarding plane for edge computing to divert traffic locally; meet the requirement for low latency; and ensure the effective management of industrial applications by factory. This also helps to reduce the complexity of AGV equipment and improve the operating stability of the entire system.
─ Data Intelligence—Moreover, AGV application can leverage the powerful computing capability of edge clouds to make in-depth analyses of test data to improve efficiency and integrate data from other manufacturing systems. This enables closed-loop management from product manufacturing to testing and improves the factory’s smart manufacturing.
Lu Lu, Deputy Director of the Networks and IT, China Mobile Research (CMRI), said: “Edge computing and network slicing are the most important enabling technologies for 5G. They also provide important capabilities that operators need to serve vertical industries. Teaming up with Ericsson, we demonstrate the strong potential of edge computing and network slicing for the Industrial Internet, and this is a valuable experiment for industrial applications of 5G.”
Zhang Guangzhuo, Deputy General Manager of Core Network Products at Ericsson North East Asia, said: “As a strategic partner, Ericsson has been working closely with China Mobile to drive the development of the Industrial Internet through 5G, aiming to help in making digital transformation a reality.”