BYD and Huawei Successfully Deploy Smart Factory Solution
Intelligent Manufacturing Is Enabled by Advanced Connectivity
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Intelligent Manufacturing Is Enabled by Advanced Connectivity
BYD is a tech company devoted to technological innovations that can create a better life. It is committed to building a greener world driven by new energy.
For the last 20 years, thanks to BYD's consistent innovation in the space, they have delivered innumerable high-quality vehicles since it entered the auto industry in 2003, including upwards of 4 million new energy vehicles (NEVs). In 2022 alone, BYD sold 1.86 million NEVs, ranking top among all NEV brands worldwide.
BYD has been exploring markets outside China since 1998, when it set up its first international branch in the Netherlands. To date, BYD has provided services for customers across more than 70 countries. This year, BYD has already exported nearly 100,000 vehicles, and is ramping up its global market expansion.
BYD's automobile and electronics businesses have seen rapid development. In 2022, the company was included in the Fortune Global 500, ranking third by market value among global automobile companies.
To support this continuous growth, the automaker needed to migrate more design, R&D, and application systems to the cloud. Many kinds of terminals also need to connect to the network, with more production line terminals requiring wireless access. And with the number of network devices on the rise, huge pressure was placed on manual O&M. These changes posed enormous challenges to BYD's campus network infrastructure.
First, diversified applications and cloud adoption for many production and R&D services meant new strain was placed on network experience. For example, intermittent interruptions of R&D simulation slowed down the R&D process, and freezing or disconnections during HD video conferences affected communication. Therefore, one key question to consider was, how can we build a high-quality network for various services?
Second, the flexibility of BYD's production lines was becoming increasingly dependent on a wireless network. When a larger number of devices than ever needed to access the network, the signal strength and roaming coverage of APs were put under huge stress. The device total that can be supported by one network, anti-interference capabilities, and network reliability in high-density scenarios were all put to the test.
Wireless devices also started to outnumber wired ones. At this point, BYD had over 100,000 wireless devices on the network. It was necessary to ensure ubiquitous access and consistent permissions within campuses. However, traditionally, the permissions of wired devices were controlled based on IP addresses. This could easily lead to inflexible permission configuration, an increasingly prominent issue for many expanding enterprises.
Finally, automated network O&M needed to be added to the agenda. As more devices were connected, the scale of the network expanded, user queries and network issues were also on the rise. Therefore, BYD urgently needed to transform its labor-intensive, passive O&M into proactive, automated, and intelligent O&M.
BYD chose Huawei to help it build a high-quality 10 Gbps campus network. This network featured ultra-fast access, superb experience, simplified architecture, and simplified O&M.
In production scenarios, more and more of BYD's R&D and production systems relied on high-bandwidth networks. For example, R&D simulation generates huge HD rendering workloads, which required transmission of huge volumes of data between cloud servers and local terminals. In addition, simulation and rendering synchronization demanded low network latency. In office scenarios, multi-region collaborative working and remote HD video conferencing were common needs, and required high bandwidth and low latency.
The campus network they built together supported 10GE for wired terminals. Access switches supported on-demand GE and 10GE downlink to meet the needs of different devices, as well as network slicing to allocate different "lanes" for different services. It also boasted high-density 10GE aggregation and 100GE core. To increase access bandwidth and connect more devices, the aggregation and core switches needed to provide high-density 10GE and 40GE/100GE ports.
For office scenarios, Huawei and BYD jointly built a high-quality wireless office network with APs that offer 10GE uplinks, high throughput, and high concurrency. Supported by leading AI technologies such as smart antennas, 3D network planning, and big data–enabled optimization, network signals were made available to every BYD employee. Users could roam anywhere with zero service interruptions, and enjoy a smooth experience without video freezing.
Many production scenarios, such as battery and semiconductor production and warehousing, require wireless networks for backhaul. Various types of terminals needed to be connected, like barcode scanners, dashboards, tablets, AGVs, and automated robots. Moreover, network bandwidth and latency were critical to realizing automated and paperless operations of so many terminals and facilities on production lines, in workshops, and in warehouses.
To address these needs, BYD conducted site surveys with Huawei's advanced 3D network planning tool and deployed Huawei's next-generation APs, which offer greater stability, faster access, and higher concurrency. These APs could also be used for IoT, connecting over 500 work-in-process vehicles and thousands of smart terminals and sensors. Furthermore, big data technology and regression algorithms were adopted to proactively monitor hundreds of devices, providing a more reliable network for the wireless backhaul of production data.
Besides offering superb experience at the network and application layers, Huawei's high-quality campus network also ensured touch-free terminal access and free mobility.
Huawei's iMaster NCE-Campus centrally stored the identity information of all BYD users, and performed centralized authentication and network authorization for all devices that access the company's office network. Currently, the system can support up to 300,000 users, and future scale-up is possible. iMaster NCE-Campus also supports free mobility. Refined network management, based on user roles and terminal types, prevent external users from accessing internal resources. Furthermore, different devices are granted different access permissions. Employees are given incredibly efficient access to the network, while information regarding the identity, location, and type of devices is intelligently identified to achieve refined management and provide customized network services.
Free mobility ensured consistent policies for wired and wireless access in any location. Moreover, group policies could be flexibly configured for dynamic user groups, static resource groups, and application-based groups for on-demand inter-group access. Through IP-group synchronization, core switches could execute free mobility policies to always guarantee consistent wired and wireless access policies across the entire network.
The platform does not neglect to involve AI. Huawei's iMaster NCE-CampusInsight, an intelligent network analysis platform, applied AI to O&M. It employed telemetry to collect performance metrics and log data of network devices. Big data, AI algorithms, and other advanced analytics technologies were combined with scenario-based continuous learning and expertise to free O&M personnel from the troublesome tasks of handling alarms and masses of logs. This visualized the network experience of users and enables automated, intelligent O&M.
With this future-proof platform, network administrators can grasp the network experience of each Wi-Fi user and the status of each network device anytime, anywhere. When a fault occurs, it takes just a few minutes to locate the fault, identify the root cause, and provide effective solutions based on the fault inference engine, thus ensuring production and services are not interrupted.
In addition, the intelligent O&M system provides an automated network detection tool capable of automatically scanning over 9000 network devices used by BYD. This tool can automatically discover potential network risks, such as long network topology links, device EOS issues, and link bandwidth inversion (FE uplink and GE downlink). It can be used to scan networks of 70 campuses across five regions nationwide. Many hidden network risks are thus eliminated at very early stages.
Since its commercial deployment, the intelligent O&M system has helped BYD improve network O&M efficiency by 48%, with 60% fewer complaints against network faults, effectively avoiding economic loss caused by network faults.
As an industry leader, BYD also needed a high-capacity data center network in addition to ultra-broadband, ultra-fast office and production networks. The company decided to deploy Huawei's most advanced CloudEngine 16800 series switches and CloudEngine 6800 series switches on its data center networks, creating a service traffic highway for interaction between hundreds of thousands of terminals and over 2000 servers across the entire network. These devices also offer powerful scalability, future-proofing the network for upcoming rapid service development.
The successful commercial use of BYD's high-quality 10 Gbps campus network and high-capacity data center network has set new standards for sustainable NEV development and automakers' digital transformation. It also provides a valuable reference for helping manufacturers go digital using intelligent IP networks.
To achieve further development, BYD still needs to integrate processes and data by bridging data gap between R&D, production, and sales through data governance. This way, BYD can achieve efficient collaboration between production and supply while reducing costs.
Based on its own manufacturing practices, Huawei has launched the Smart Factory Solution featuring one cloud, one network, one platform, and N applications. Huawei and BYD are also working on developing digital production platforms and AI-powered quality inspection solutions together.
In the future, Huawei will work with more customers to innovate designs and carry out in-depth service cooperation to connect even more industries and their corresponding scenarios.