NTT’s private 5G to power Schneider Electric’s IoT Environments

The private 5G is an on-premise private network solution and digitization enabling platform that can dramatically advance digital solutions in the manufacturing environment.
18 March 2022

Private 5G networks are key for enterprises to operate and manage automated machinery as well as IoT environments seamlessly. Compared to a normal 5G network, the private 5G is an on-premise private network solution and digitization enabling platform that can dramatically advance digital solutions in the manufacturing environment.

As such, NTT has now collaborated with Schneider Electric to deliver a private 5G platform. The long-standing partnership between NTT and Schneider Electric builds on existing joint strategic innovations that help clients achieve efficiency and sustainability goals with advanced digital processes within the industry sectors.

The private 5G platform will be piloted at Schneider’s Lexington Smart Factory in early 2022. As the first of Schneider Electric’s U.S. plants to become a Smart Factory, the site will leverage IoT connectivity, Edge analytics, and predictive analytics to drive energy efficiency and further sustainability goals. The private 5G will power key use-cases that solve challenges around equipment availability, machine performance, and product quality.

This includes integrating ‘machine vision’ capabilities such as industrial cameras with specialized optics, into existing factory and warehouse automation systems, that identify faults as well as wear and tear for incident root cause in near real-time. The solution will also provide a model for operational integrity management that scales across a broad footprint of global factory environments to power Industry 4.0, enabling Network Edge platforms.

Additional use-cases to be addressed include:

  • Unfettered connectivity for improved management of AGV devices across a factory footprint that yields more efficient and accurate workflow systems.
  • Machine vision application to detect anomalies in machine performance to ensure high performance, availability, and quality of the product.
  • Augmented reality solutions that enable remote worker support for enhanced equipment maintenance and management and worker experience.

Shahid Ahmed, EVP New Ventures and Innovation at NTT said their private 5G solution will support Schneider Electric business and service level objectives with a powerful machine vision solution that solves for operational continuity and performance throughout the Lexington and Lincoln plant facilities.

“Our private 5G platform brings full-stack managed services, process workflow, and IoT application integration capabilities that both address strategic objectives towards factory high performance and net-zero carbon emission goals,” added Ahmed.

For Luc Rémont, Executive Vice President of International Operations at Schneider Electric, the partnership enables Schneider Electric to further extend its manufacturing expertise along with data center and network solutions to drive innovations for self-contained Edge Private 5G use-cases.

“Above and beyond superior security and control offered through this partnership, wireless networks offer superior benefits over a wired network from a sustainability perspective – smaller copper cabling footprint means minimizing energy usage and aligning to our net-zero carbon goals,” Rémont added.

NTT will also deploy its private 5G services and data centers with Schneider Electric technologies, including a prefabricated data center to integrate and test its edge offerings using EcoStruxure solutions. This is expected to be 100% operative in Schneider Electric factories during the 2nd quarter of 2022.