Orange and Schneider Electric Run Industrial 5G Trials in French Factory
Schneider Electric, a leader in digital transformation, energy management and automation, and Orange, a global telecoms operator and leader in digital services, announced the first deployment of indoor 5G in the industrial sector in France on experimental frequencies as part of a trial. Operating since March, this first co-innovation project in the Le Vaudreuil factory aims to use 5G in a modern industrial environment to build reliable, scalable and sustainable connectivity solutions for future industrial needs.
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Schneider Electric Le Vaudreuil factory is the first factory in France to trial industrial 5G (Photo: Business Wire)
Thanks to its low latency, very high throughput and – over time – network slicing, 5G will be a competitive lever for companies, as it will bring noticeable improvement in industrial processes and working methods, especially through mixed reality (augmented and virtual). In the Industrial sector, 5G will help synchronize in real time large amounts of data, which are key to boost performance, facilitate remote working, and ensure optimal production efficiencies.
The indoor 5G-enabled trials will support two use cases: augmented reality applied to maintenance technician activities and the implementation of a telepresence robot for remote visits. Nokia radio AirScale and core equipment has been selected and the experimental frequencies have been allocated by the French regulatory authority. Five indoor 5G antennas were installed inside a part of the factory, covering close to 2,000 m2 of production space with download speeds beyond 1 Gbps, on an experimental network architecture allowing local data processing with edge computing technologies. Building on its co-innovation ecosystem, Orange has proposed to use the recently launched Dell technologies 5G-ready Latitude 9510 business PC to deliver these use cases. This allows Schneider Electric to benefit from the laptop’s embedded computing power, wherever the user is located.
Two 5G Use Cases for Industry
In the first use case tested, the teams connected tablets to 5G using the Schneider Electric augmented reality application called EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor (AOA). This custom application improves operational efficiency with augmented reality, enabling operators to superimpose real-time data and virtual objects onto a cabinet, machine or entire plant. The objective with 5G is to test future functionality with minimum latency and maximum throughput.