Midea Group, China Unicom, and Huawei have rolled out Guangdong's first 5G fully-connected smart manufacturing demonstration site at the factory of Midea's Kitchen Appliance Division in Shunde district, Foshan city. The rollout marks the world's first adoption of a 5G converged positioning solution in the smart factory field.
Following the 5G Application "Sailing" Action Plan (2021-2023) issued by the government, Midea, China Unicom, and Huawei collaboratively deployed 5G+MEC hybrid private networks at the factory. This innovative deployment is a step toward implementing 5G+Industrial Internet in factories' production sectors and has produced beneficial results.
The innovative 5G smart manufacturing project has enabled achievements in multiple aspects, such as smart warehousing, smart vehicle management, and AI intelligent monitoring. In the factory, the high-performance 5G dedicated network supports highly efficient production on the production line; the AI brain monitors and predicts robots' behaviors and ensures that they are unified. Machine vision is adopted to facilitate product quality inspection, significantly reducing the need for manual inspection; and the AGV carts deliver materials to specified locations. In addition, the high-precision positioning system ensures consistency between inventory and accounts, facilitating warehouse management. Moreover, the network also enables workers to use AR devices in equipment maintenance and for remote delivery checks.
The smart warehousing service based on the 5G converged positioning technology was also rolled out at the factory. The technology ensures effective positioning and tracing of workers, machines, materials, and products; guarantees a stable industrial network for mobile scenarios; and simplifies network maintenance. Its rollout brings digital to Midea's warehousing and logistics systems and assures a submeter-level positioning precision, helping Midea build an intelligent warehousing management system with a higher warehousing and logistics efficiency at lower costs.
The evolution from a digital factory to a smart factory involves great changes to the equipment in the workshop and more integrated and smart system interactions. These changes notably increase efficiency and create tremendous value for Midea's factories and the manufacturing industry. Leveraging the "China Unicom 5GtoB Cloud" network, Midea can expand this innovative achievement to its factories across the country, popularizing 5G applications in industries.
Richard Liu, President of Huawei Cloud Core Network Product Line, stated that Huawei will continue to further cooperation with industrial customers, operators, and its partners, to expand 5G technologies to more industries, upgrade smart manufacturing with 5G, and drive the digital and intelligent transformation of the industrial manufacturing sector, helping promote 5G applications all over the world.