According to a recent announcement, this month marks a major milestone in Ericsson’s smart manufacturing capabilities as the company invests more than $50 million in upgrading its existing factory in Nanjing, China. The resulting automated factory reportedly is now among the most advanced manufacturing facilities in the industry.
Ericsson produces 5G and 4G radio technology products at the factory, most of which 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 modernize every step of the production process in Nanjing, in preparation for the introduction and rapid deployments of 5G in China. This includes the first modular-designed automatic assembly line for 5G radios, which will enable Ericsson 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 2019.
Implementation and integration of analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools have also been a focus of the investment, with AI now used to recognize components in the production line, increasing efficiency, accuracy and quality. Cellular IoT technologies in the factory enable an automated alert system for immediate attention of critical issues and faults. Implemented at 45 work stations, it is designed to enable increased efficiency and speed of the production system.
The Nanjing factory is part of Ericsson’s global supply chain set up and this news follows the previous announcements on Ericsson digitalizing its factory in Estonia and establishing a smart factory in the US.
“This is another important milestone in our global supply readiness for 5G,” said Fredrik Jejdling, EVP and Head of Business Area Networks, Ericsson. “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.”
Ken Briodagh is a storyteller, writer and editor with about two decades of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.
Edited by Ken Briodagh