Wednesday, 18 September 2019 00:38

Ericsson China 'smart' factory now operational Featured

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Ericsson China 'smart' factory now operational Image Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Swedish tech giant Ericsson says it has completed a 500 million kroner (US $51.5 million) transformation of its “smart” manufacturing factory in Nanjing, China, with the resulting automated factory now operational and standing among the most advanced manufacturing facilities in the industry.

Ericsson produces 5G and 4G radio technology products at the factory, most of which it says support communication service providers in the Chinese market to increase network capacity, roll-out 5G, and make Industry 4.0 a reality.

The 18-month upgrade has seen Ericsson modernise every step of the production process in Nanjing, in preparation for the introduction and rapid deployments of 5G in China, including the first modular-designed automatic assembly line for 5G radios, which Ericsson says will enable it to produce the latest 5G radios in the capacity needed for the Chinese market.

An upgraded automatic packing line, which supports both 4G and 5G products, has been up running from the second quarter of this year.

Ericsson says it has also modernised 5G testing equipment to be more efficient and very flexible across the product portfolio and, in addition to contributing to high product quality, this also means that products can be introduced to the market faster.

“Competence and ways of working with analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools have also benefited from the investment. AI is now used to recognise components in the production line, increasing efficiency, accuracy and quality,” Ericsson said.

“State-of-the-art cellular IoT technologies in the Nanjing factory enable an automated alert system for immediate attention of critical issues and faults. Implemented at 45 work stations, it enables increased efficiency and speed of the production system.”

The Nanjing factory is part of Ericsson’s global supply chain set up and this latest news on the China facility follows previous announcements on Ericsson digitalising its factory in Estonia and establishing a smart factory in the US.

Ericsson says its global supply chain strategy is to ensure the company works close to customers through its European, Asian and American operations, and secures “fast and agile deliveries to meet customer requirements”.

Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of business area networks, Ericsson, says: “This is another important milestone in our global supply readiness for 5G. Our factory in Nanjing is a great example of how our next-generation technology is changing the future of manufacturing for the better. As a global company, we have gained insights from testing and applying 5G technology for industries and now we are bringing the learnings into our own factories, which will benefit the whole ecosystem.

“Our customers in China will benefit through the technology leadership, speed and capacity advantages that our automated smart factory will give us.”

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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