GF Machining

Location: Switzerland

Use Cases Demonstrated:

  • Predictive Maintenance

Sunrise is one of Switzerlands’ leading mobile network operators and communications serve providers. They have recently established a joint 5G innovation centre with Huawei to work on 5G enabled services, including for Industry 4.0.

One of the joint innovations center’s first successes has been with GF Machining, who provide machining services for manufacturers in Switzerland, including watch companies.  Key to the high quality of watches produced in Switzerland is accurate, high speed metal milling.  Excessive vibration is a real issue with milling processes, which results in poor milling leading to a high rejection rate.  The failure rate can be up to 25% of all output.  Therefore, predictive maintenance is of critical importance to GF Machining as it improves product quality by a large margin and reduces the failure rate by a significant degree.

5G is the best fit technology for realising predictive maintenance requirements of high-speed milling machines.  The blade integration discs within these machines have very high precision requirements, with a tolerance of only 1 to 10 microns.  Combined with high milling speeds and acceleration of up to 1G, issues are quick to form.  The low latency of 5G, which is to be combined with local Edge computing servers, is crucial to ensure that data from IoT sensors monitoring the milling machines can be processed as fast as possible to highlight any issues that require rectification.  The use of AI technology on the edge servers means that decision making about management of the milling machines is lightning fast and can include analysis of a range of parameters.

Sunrise and Huawei have implemented a 5G based predictive maintenance solution at GF Machining’s factory in Switzerland, which also includes 5G connected tablets to ensure that engineers are aware of the factory’s operations at all times.  The solution has to date greatly reduced the failure rate of the milling process.  As a result, GF Machining are saving EUR30 million per plant per year.

Reference: https://e.huawei.com/ca/case-studies/leading-new-ict/2020/b2b-5g-jic-mec-solutions

Supporting Partners:


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