“In order to prove business value and ensure 5G meets real industry requirements, three Ericsson factories in Sweden, Estonia and China are fast-tracking the introduction of a new generation of smart manufacturing. Developing and implementing the first 5G and Industrial IoT systems in a real manufacturing environment allows this new wave of tech enablers to reach maturity more rapidly, ready to change the world.”, says Ericsson on their website.
Ericsson plans to build its first fully-automated smart factory in the US. The new factory will produce Advanced Antenna System radios to boost network capacity and coverage, including rural coverage, as well as 5G radios for urban areas, both necessary for rapid 5G deployments in North America.
“We continue to focus on working closely with our customers and supporting them in the buildout of 5G globally and in North America. With today’s announcement, we conclude months of preparations and can move into execution also in the U.S. In addition, we are digitalizing our entire global production landscape, including establishing this factory in the U.S. With 5G connectivity we’re accelerating Industry 4.0, enabling automated factories for the future,” says Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks at Ericsson, in a press release.
The location of the new factory will be announced once discussions with state and local authorities have been completed. The company says that it is committed to the factory being operational in early 2020. As one can imagine the smart factory will be powered by Ericsson 5G solutions tailored for the industrial environment.
Fast and secure 5G connectivity will enable agile operations and flexible production. This will be achieved through automated warehouses, connected logistics and automated assembly, packing and product handling, and the use of autonomous carts. The technology products created in the 5G factory will enable a faster rollout of commercial 5G across the region.
Initially the company plans to employ about 100 people at the facility, which will have highly automated operations, as well as a modular and flexible production setup to enable quick ramp up and roll out.