Huaheng Smart Factory

Location: China

Use Cases Demonstrated:

China Mobile have deployed the first 5G and MEC enabled AGV system, utilising the province’s first standalone 5G SA architecture.

The solution enables the use of AGVS to implement asset tracking and smart warehousing services. The 5G+MEC solution, using the low latency, high bandwidth and multi-concurrency performance of 5G technology can flexibly meet the requirements of multiple AGVs in operation at the same time.  It allows for intensive scheduling of operations and the introduction of autonomous laser SLAM (Simultaneous Location And Mapping) navigation.  Through the use of 5G, the numerous standardised AGV trolleys are coordinated, and the fleet can be expanded in the future.

To enable multi-vehicle cooperative operation, 2-4 AGVs form a group for cooperative operation. One control center is able to control multiple vehicles and routing at the same time. This has proven to be an efficient mode of operations, and even where an AGV has a lower load limit than manual trolleys, it is able to out-perform them in real-world conditions.

SLAM navigation generates huge amounts of data, as it allows each AGV to automatically recognise its surroundings and calculate its position using specialist equipment.  This data is currently processed on each AGV, which is an expensive option, and the introduction of fast and stable 5G networking allows the SLAM data to be sent directly to the cloud for processing and return, reducing the cost of stand-alone equipment for data processing on each vehicle.

China Mobile has worked with Huawei and Huaheng to establish a joint project team to rollout the 5G SA+ MEC architecture across multiple plants, meaning that customer data does not leave the customers systems and end-to-end asset tracking and traceability can be securely established.

The project has established a 5G smart warehousing benchmark for companies such as e-commerce, logistics, third-party warehousing, and large parts warehouses that are intensively applied by AGV.  Development of an industrial edge cloud solution named Taobao by China Mobile Research Institute has also driven further integration of 5G and industrial manufacturing capabilities with a number of smart manufacturing solution providers, creating a 5G industrial application ecosystem in the process.

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