Successful Trial of the First Cellular IoT-based Connected Factory
China Mobile and Ericsson started ongoing Connected Factory trial using Cellular IoT for Industry 4.0 working with Intel. The trial, featuring a connected screwdriver among other tools, took place at Ericsson Panda Communication Company, a radio product manufacturing site and an independent subsidiary of Ericsson, in Nanjing. The outcomes of the trial are highlighted in a demonstration at MWC in Barcelona.
Several low power, wide area (LPWA) use cases are currently being implemented in the factory, such as production line monitoring, warehouse monitoring and package and materials tracking. The centerpiece of the demonstration to be shown in Barcelona is the connected high-precision screwdriver, with motion sensors attached to NB-IoT modules that transmit real-time data of the tools to the Cellular IoT network.
The demonstration is an end-to-end solution, covering terminals, networks to the platform, and analytics aspects. The setup consists of Ericsson's multi-mode radio equipment with new software supporting NB-IoT, Intel's pre-commercial software supporting NB-IoT, the Intel® XMM(TM) 7115 modem solution embedded in Fibocom's module, as well as China Mobile's OneNet IoT platform with its software development kit (SDK).
There are about 1000 high-precision screwdrivers in the factory which require routine calibrations and lubrications based upon the amount of usage, all of which are recorded manually on paper today. With Connected Screwdrivers, the factory will be able to replace manual tracking of the tool usage data with an automated solution. Also, by connecting the tools over the Cellular IoT network, intelligent analysis of the collected data allows for optimized maintenance.
The resulting benefits include a longer lifespan of the tools and reduction of human errors during operations. Screwdrivers with motion sensors attached to NB-IoT modules means that the factory will be able to automate the usage tracking of the screwdrivers.