Fujitsu announced the commencement of operations of a private 5G network at its Oyama plant in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. The network consists of a 4.7 GHz band SA and a 28 GHz extended frequency band NSA and will allow Fujitsu to play an important role in delivering digital transformation (DX) for plant operations, including field automation and remote support.
The private 5G network by Fujitsu
Fujitsu Telecom Networks Limited, which manufactures private 5G and other network equipment, will pursue human-centered smart manufacturing while utilizing advanced technologies such as AI and IoT at the Oyama Plant. Fujitsu aims to efficiently facilitate technological skill transfers and increase the precision and automation of operations in its manufacturing processes at the plant by leveraging big data, including high-definition video and sensor data. To this end, Fujitsu has built a private 5G network to handle the range of radio waves and the applications demanded in plant operations and will leverage the new network to streamline field operations at the facility.
Realtime AI image analysis
Specifically, Fujitsu has introduced a 4.7 GHz band network, which can cover a wide range, to automate highly accurate position measurement and route control through real-time communication with automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) traveling inside the factory during the transportation of parts within facilities. For assembly work, a 28 GHz band network transmits images of products and work procedures taken by a large number of 4K cameras installed in the factory at high speed to an edge computing environment. This enables real-time AI image analysis and offers workers instant feedback as to whether the correct movements are being performed during assembly. Fujitsu will also provide fieldwork training and remote support using mixed reality (MR) devices.
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Going forward, Fujitsu will apply its private 5G technologies to a variety of operations at the Oyama Plant and conduct verification, with the aim of providing services to the manufacturing industry by the end of fiscal 2021.
Overview of Activities at Oyama Plant Utilizing Private 5G
1. Training and remote support for workers: work training and remote support by MRs
Create 3D models of products in the factory’s edge computing environment and project the 3D models and instructions onto MR devices, allowing experts and developers to remotely guide and assist workers in the field. Utilizing the private 5G network makes it possible to draw a large amount of data on the MR device in real-time, thereby improving the efficiency of remote work instruction and support.
2. Real-time work confirmation: work judgment by AI image analysis
In conjunction with the edge computing environment and the MES (7), the AI differentiates between the operator’s hand, part case, and parts themselves from the image of the assembly operation taken by multiple high-definition cameras, and determines whether the correct part is taken from the specified part case based on the procedure and mounted in the correct position on the board. The results are fed back to the operator in real-time through the display and audio instructions, helping the operator perform the correct work and to improve the efficiency of inspection tasks and quality control.
3. Automating transportation: automatic traveling by position control of AGVs
Images are transmitted from high-definition cameras mounted inside and outside the factory and on unmanned vehicles to the edge computing environment with low latency, and AI analysis is performed to recognize the position and control the route of unmanned vehicles with high precision in three dimensions. This effectively reduces transportation costs by automating transportation inside and between buildings and the loading and unloading of parts and products.