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Smart Factory Solution for the Modern Age

Internet connectivity is becoming the driving force behind modern manufacturing, and Huawei’s new Smart Factory Solution, with its innovative ICT technologies, is at the forefront.

In this new model, fully connected intelligent industries are redefining the landscape of traditional manufacturing, connecting manpower, application systems, and intelligent machinery at unprecedented rates. Ultimately, they will create an era of agile, networked manufacturing.

ICT technologies, represented by the mobile Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and Big Data, are rapidly penetrating sectors of the manufacturing industry that include office work, Research and Development (R&D), production, sales, service, and supply chains.

ICT connects technologies and manufacturing businesses. It seamlessly integrates cloud computing, by creating collaboration between cloud service flows; platforms, with full-connectivity for management and Big Data analytics; networks, to empower horizontal coordination across industry chains and vertical human-machine integrations; and a massive number of intelligent robots.

Value networks connect the upstream and downstream phases of an industry chain such as R&D, production, sales, service, partners, and customers. Solutions that include coordinated R&D, outsourced design, Online-to-Offline (O2O) integrated marketing, and the intelligent Internet of Vehicles (IoV), will promote the transformation of manufacturing industries from phase-oriented to holistically-managed over each business and technical life cycle.

Solutions that integrate industry clouds, agile networks, and intelligent devices will bridge the information gap between intelligent robots, people, and data. A more efficient and precise, smart factory can be created by coordinated production line control, intelligent production maintenance and operation, and sophisticated energy management solutions.

Vertical Integration of Production Data

Production management and quality control have always been critical to manufacturing enterprises. By extending the coverage of intelligent networks to every industrial robot and every material item, smart factories will position items precisely in physical space, and illustrate optimal production paths, operating maps, and provide device status reports to management staff in real-time. New, intelligent communications devices must be built to meet these requirements. Here are some examples.

• Wired and wireless industrial gateways will immediately collect production data such as device status, fault alarms, and precautions. In conjunction with intelligent analysis systems, these gateways will identify and notify manufacturers of potential risks, and initiate proactive maintenance protocols. Intelligent analysis will also enable greater flexibility on production lines and help product quality management through automation.

• Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) numbers will be used to automatically identify raw materials and record information such as warehouse and production line positions, processing quality, and cycle times.

• Huawei’s eLTE + WLAN network transmission platforms are valuable in many ways. For instance, looking at a high-duty steel, continuous annealing production line, eLTE and WLAN low-latency transmission technologies deliver production parameters such as the travel speed of steel sheets, hydrogen flow rates, and changing furnace pressure. The rolling steel FusionCube-resident data processing application adjusts hydrogen flow rates in real-time, reduces the production control cycle from one minute to six seconds in order to meet measured technical production and quality targets.

• Virtual factories perfectly combine the virtual and real worlds. Huawei’s 3D Virtual Factory Solution helps manufacturers relocate traditional production service systems to the cloud. The data of each service module is centrally stored and intelligently associated, which ensures data security and promotes data sharing.

• Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) pass-through processing technology generates real-time imagery equal to the expectation of standard digital graphics workstations. By using embedded platform designs, industrial interconnection gateways are able to transmit stored process models and dynamically adjust production parameters to meet product quality standards.

• Big Data analytics platforms collect real-time data and compare it to historical data to analyze current conditions. Enterprises can then plan production more intelligently, respond quicker, and create dynamic schedules. Huawei’s FusionCube intelligent analysis platform is built to facilitate flexible production and automated management of product quality.

Horizontal Collaboration across Industry Chains

By coordinating and crowdsourcing, horizontal collaboration is bringing unprecedented changes to traditional manufacturing.

• A cross-enterprise, converged WAN eliminates the need to physically isolate internal and external networks. New network architectures ensure the timely sharing of large files, such as design drawings, across departments and between partners. The capability to define WAN security policies facilitates allow for smooth R&D collaborations and resource-access within individual enterprises, and across entire industry chains.

• A high-end firewall delivers throughput of up to 1 Tbit/s, which ensures the security of enterprises’ core information assets and the speed at which enterprises can exchange information. By constructing shared R&D cloud platforms and remote virtual desktops, enterprises can attain comprehensive information sharing, and prevent their digital assets from being released to unauthorized networks or partners.

• Cloud platforms are bringing positive changes to marketing and procurement in manufacturing. The cloud provides O2O interactive user experiences that enable fast responses to massive numbers of concurrent user requests, and helps manufacturing enterprises promote their products, integrate online and offline resources, and pinpoint sales and marketing efforts with fast, vivid graphics and smooth, streaming video.

• Smart IoV components — “mobile terminals on wheels” by any other name — are typical examples of horizontal collaboration across at least two large industries. Through intelligent networks, the smart IoV platforms will be enabled to establish vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-road, vehicle-to-people, and vehicle-to-enterprise connections — which, all combined, will form the arteries and veins of our maturing Smart City solutions.

• Onboard terminals and ubiquitous mobile networks will collect vehicle information in real-time and transfer said collected information to the IoV host for intelligent analysis and response. Drivers can expect to obtain IoV services to help improve their driving habits and consumption of energy. Governments will coordinate transport planning and traffic management based on massive, continuous vehicle data. Insurance companies will provide custom services to the IoV community of drivers.

Agile Manufacturing

The Internet is gradually penetrating various industries, connecting previously isolated production components to form fully connected ecosystems. Huawei Smart Manufacturing solutions, and its subsystems, are designed to help manufacturing enterprises bridge the information gap by building intelligent, efficient, precise, and agile factory systems.

By Wang Chao

Manufacturing Industry Marketing Manager, Huawei Enterprise Business Group