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Huawei, Haier and China Mobile Announce Breakthrough Implementation of 5G for Smart Manufacturing

Supported by Huawei and China Mobile, Haier, China’s largest consumer electronics and home appliance manufacturer, has successfully applied innovative manufacturing solutions combining 5G and mobile edge computing to its smart factories. The three announced the breakout in Qingdao, China on Friday.

These solutions, based on a joint innovation launched in February, combine 5G edge computing with artificial intelligence and, in particular, machine vision in production environments. They are applicable to a variety of production scenarios where they can perform many functions. Haier has launched the technology in seven smart factories in China and plans to expand to 20 factories by the end of 2022.

Huawei is expected to help Haier roll out 5G solutions and transform about 100 manufacturing plants around the world within five years. The three also plan to offer their technology to other leading manufacturers in China and abroad.
5G provides manufacturers with high bandwidth – up to 20 Gbps – and latency times of up to 1 millisecond. Mobile edge computing, one of the core features of 5G, enables cloud computing with extremely low latency. But it’s too early for manufacturers looking to harness the full power of 5G.

The solutions enable high-performance machine vision in a production environment through low-latency connections between high-resolution cameras, AI modules in the factory, and training servers located outside the enterprise.

Deployed on a 5G-enabled production line, machine vision reduces costs for manufacturers by quickly performing quality checks with more than 99% accuracy, at least 10% more accurate than without this feature. Compared to visual examinations performed by humans, machine vision produces far fewer false positives and false negatives.

The three partners have also developed technologies to improve workplace and personnel safety. Unlike traditional CCTV systems, which only have a recording function, AI surveillance can automatically generate real-time alarms when anomalies are detected in the factory. The technology can identify unauthorized persons, safety violations and workers who are not where they should be.

In addition, new solutions help to effectively coordinate the work of a large number of people, machines and materials involved in a complex production line as a whole. Solutions achieve this with HD cameras, 5G gateways, and intelligent industrial terminals that work in unison using artificial intelligence.

In the future, solutions will be enhanced to provide visualization of digital twins. The digital twin is a reproduction of a real and dynamic production hall in a virtual digital world, the metaverse. The digital twin makes timely preventive maintenance a reality and allows you to simulate changes in the manufacturing process before they are implemented. All three are also experimenting with how a 5G environment can support automated guided vehicles to transport goods to warehouses or production lines more accurately and efficiently.

Haier, China Mobile and Huawei look forward to continuing cooperation to develop 5G production applications for partners and customers in China and abroad.

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