NTT, a worldwide technology services provider, has partnered with Schneider Electric to create an on-premise private network service and digitisation-enabling platform, with the goal of “dramatically” advancing digital services in the manufacturing environment.
The development of the Private 5G (P5G) product builds on an existing cooperation between NTT and the automation services provider to assist clients in achieving efficiency and sustainability goals in the Industry X sectors using sophisticated digital processes.
Schneider Electric’s Lexington Smart Factory, the first of Schneider Electric’s US factories to become a Smart Factory showcase site, will pilot the P5G platform in early 2022, combining IoT connectivity, Edge, and predictive analytics to promote energy efficiency and enhance sustainability goals.
Key use cases involving equipment availability, machine performance, and product quality will be powered by the P5G. The two businesses will incorporate “machine vision” capabilities, such as industrial cameras with specialised optics, into existing manufacturing and warehouse automation systems for defect detection.
The solution will enable Network Edge platforms by providing a paradigm for operational integrity management that scalable over a broad footprint of global production environments through co-innovation.
Prefabricated datacenters from Schneider Electric are designed to help cloud and service providers scale rapidly and efficiently while also meeting their environmental goals. The prefabricated modular datacentres are built with sustainable construction methods and features that increase dependability, optimise operating energy savings, and leave a lower environmental footprint, in addition to a claimed 60% reduction in uptime compared to typical datacentres.
Schneider Electric stated that its partnership with NTT will develop breakthroughs for self-contained Edge Private 5G application cases. P5G use cases that could be addressed include “unrestricted” connectivity for better management of AGV devices across a factory footprint, resulting in more efficient and accurate workflow systems; machine vision application to detect anomalies in machine performance to ensure high performance, availability, and product quality; augmented reality services that enable remote worker support for enhanced equipment maintenance; and management and worker experience.
To further the partnership, NTT will deploy its P5G services and datacentres with Schneider Electric technologies, including a prefabricated datacentre to integrate and test its edge offerings using EcoStruxure services. This is expected to be fully operative in Schneider Electric factories during the second quarter of 2022.
“With this strategic partnership, we are confident that NTT’s P5G offering will support Schneider Electric business and service-level objectives with a powerful machine vision solution that solves for operational continuity and performance throughout the Lexington and Lincoln plant facilities,” said Shahid Ahmed, executive vice-president of New Ventures and Innovation at NTT.
“Our P5G platform brings full-stack managed services, process workflow and internet of things application integration capabilities that both address strategic objectives towards factory high-performance and net-zero carbon emission goals.
“Above and beyond superior security and control offered through this partnership, wireless networks offer superior benefits over a wired network from a sustainability perspective – smaller copper cabling footprint means minimising energy usage and aligning to our net-zero carbon goals,” said Luc Rémont, executive vice-president of international operations at Schneider Electric.