Accelerating Crane Automation and Digital Industries of the Future with 5G

At MWCB 2023, Schneider Electric, Capgemini and Qualcomm Technologies announced their collaboration on a first-of-its-kind 5G-enabled automated hoisting solution. The three companies have joined efforts on design and installation of the solution at Schneider Electric’s hoisting lab in Grenoble, France. Replacing wired connections with wireless and unifying existing wireless connections from Schneider Electric’s industrial automation system, the 5G Private Network solution demonstrates how it can simplify and optimize digital technology deployment at scale across industrial sites — from steel plants to ports.

Quoting from the press release:

From avionics and automotive to steel manufacturing and shipping, hoisting applications play a critical role in supply chain and manufacturing operations, where heavy materials and goods are transported over what can be hundreds of meters. These crane applications are designed to operate in challenging industrial environments, for example, under extreme temperatures and over large distances.

Automated hoisting systems increase productivity, safety, and operational performance but require fast reaction times, high precision and reliability, 24/7 availability, and both manual and autonomous capabilities. Furthermore, several systems need to coexist on the same network with video cameras for monitoring and remote operation, and PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) for various control functions, including automation, remote control, and safety functions. 5G’s native low latency characteristics allow the system to replace fiber cables in remote-control operations, addressing the need to simplify network complexity, reduce wires, and provide long-term reliable connectivity.

Capgemini has worked closely with Schneider Electric to design an optimized end-to-end 5G solution and identify business outcomes on Schneider Electric’s industrial use case. It has also provided the systems integration support based on Qualcomm Technologies latest innovations and assisted Schneider Electric to integrate the 5G network with their use cases, to characterize and optimize the system. Schneider Electric’s expertise in industrial automation combined with Qualcomm Technologies’ heritage in wireless technologies, compute and AI innovations, plus Capgemini’s hands-on experience of network deployment and systems integration intersect to improve performance while eliminating complexities, resulting in faster time to market and improved KPIs for automated hoisting customers.

The 5G private network hoisting solution:

  • Replaces wired and other wireless connections for several critical PLC control flows and time sensitive video flows powering numerous use cases
  • Operates in 3.8GHz radio frequency band, with an enterprise-grade Athonet core network and Airspan Small Cells using the Qualcomm® FSM™100 5G RAN Platform, significantly improving connectivity performance and enabling new use cases

Beyond its core industrial functions, the Private 5G automated hoisting system can now be leveraged to deliver additional digital use cases, such as augmented operators enabled by XR (eXtended Reality) and wearable devices.

The following video explains the solution:

At Athonet's Uptime 2023 conference, George Tsirtsis Senior Director, Technology Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. and Sebastiano Di Filippo Senior Director, Business Development Qualcomm Europe, Inc. presented a talk on this topic. Their talk is embedded below. You can download the presentation from the conference website.

Related Posts