China Mobile, Ericsson demo IoT-powered factory
China Mobile and Ericsson have completed a trial involving what the companies say is the world's first cellular IoT-based connected factory.
The companies are presenting the outcomes of the trial at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona.
The factory is implementing multiple applications for low-power wide area (LPWA) networks and devices, including production line monitoring, warehouse monitoring and package and materials tracking.
Ericsson's demonstration in Barcelona highlights a connected high-precision screwdriver, with motion sensors attached to NB-IoT modules that transmit real-time data from the tools to the cellular IoT network.
The factory has around 1000 high-precision screwdrivers that each require routine calibrations and lubrications based on usage.
The solution being developed for the factory covers terminals, networks to the platform and analytics.
It is powered by Ericsson radio equipment and NB-IoT software, as well as Intel's pre-commercial NB-IoT software, an Intel modem embedded in a Fibocom module and China Mobile's OneNet IoT platform.
"The combination of cellular IoT and Industry 4.0 has so far been fairly unexplored,” Ericsson head of north east Asia Chris Houghton said.
“Enabling IoT network technology such as Cellular LPWA, together with cloud-based solutions, give manufacturing firms access to more information than ever before. The opportunity to use data to increase productivity is not only beneficial to a firm, but the whole of society as well."
China Mobile has been helping to lead the development of cellular IoT technology, having completed the world's first lab testing on NB-IoT and moving towards large-scale field trials.
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