Ericsson has completed last month the 18-month upgrade of its manufacturing facility in Nanjing China. The project, which costs an estimated 500 million Swedish kroner, has seen the company modernise every step of the production process at its Nanjing factory in preparation for the introduction and rapid deployments of 5G in China.
The project includes the first modular-designed automatic assembly line for 5G radios, which will enable Ericsson to produce the latest 5G radios in the capacity needed for the Chinese market.
An upgraded automatic packing line, which supports both 4G and 5G products, has been up running from the second quarter of 2019.
“Our customers in China will benefit through the technology leadership, speed and capacity advantages that our automated smart factory will give us,” Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of business area networks at Ericsson, said in a statement.
He pointed out that the completion of smart factory in Nanjing is another important milestone in Ericsson’s global supply readiness for 5G.
“Our factory in Nanjing is a great example of how our next-generation technology is changing the future of manufacturing for the better,” Jejdling said.
Making Industry 4.0 a reality
According to Ericsson, the resulting automated factory stands among the most advanced manufacturing facilities in the industry.
The company produces 5G and 4G radio technology products at the factory, most of which support communication service providers in the Chinese market to increase network capacity, roll-out 5G, and make Industry 4.0 a reality.
Ericsson has also modernised 5G testing equipment to be more efficient and very flexible across the product portfolio. In addition to contributing to high product quality, this also means that products can be introduced to the market faster.
Competence and ways of working with analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools have also benefited from the investment. AI is now used to recognize components in the production line, increasing efficiency, accuracy and quality.
State-of-the-art cellular IoT technologies in the Nanjing factory enable an automated alert system for immediate attention of critical issues and faults. Implemented at 45 work stations, it enables increased efficiency and speed of the production system.
“As a global company, we have gained insights from testing and applying 5G technology for industries and now we are bringing the learnings into our own factories, which will benefit the whole ecosystem,” Jejdling said.
The Nanjing factory is part of Ericsson’s global supply chain set up and this news follows the previous announcements on Ericsson digitalising its factory in Estonia and establishing a smart factory in the US.
Ericsson’s global supply chain strategy is to ensure the company works close to customers through its European, Asian and American operations, and secures fast and agile deliveries to meet customer requirements.