Tie-up to smarten up industry

Tie-up to smarten up industry

An artist's rendition of a 5G-based smart manufacturing operation through cooperation between AIS and Omron.
An artist's rendition of a 5G-based smart manufacturing operation through cooperation between AIS and Omron.

Advanced Info Services (AIS) and True Corporation, the top two telecom operators in Thailand, are working with tech partners to develop 5G-based industrial solutions to support a smart manufacturing push in the country.

The move is also aimed at addressing challenges and limitations in manufacturing as a result of the pandemic.

AIS yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Omron Electronics, a smart manufacturing tech provider, as a key partner in deploying 5G and digital tech to level up the industrial sector.

The MoU between AIS and Omron will bring new and flexible developments with security capabilities to industrialists, said Tanapong Ittisakulchai, chief enterprise business officer at AIS.

He said digital tech and 5G network will transform manufacturing processes with features such as flexible manufacturing, small lot size production, traceability and predictive maintenance, with a suitable level of investment that enables cost control, while retaining manufacturing capabilities, security and competitiveness.

Industry 4.0 requires a combination of information technology (IT) and operation technology (OT).

According to Mr Tanapong, prototype solutions to unlock both of these potentials include autonomous mobile robot (AMR), layout-free production line, and sensors high-resolution cameras.

AMR can read a map to determine its path with no need for dedicated guidelines. The map is built by sensors scanning the robot's surroundings.

Layout-free production line is a solution enabling a flexible production line which can be altered according to production needs and necessities of space, among other limitations.

Sensors high-resolution cameras can help monitor remote facilities and achieve predictive maintenance on the manufacturing floor.

Sirivan Koo-amphorn, managing director of Omron, said the collaboration with AIS is an important step for Omron to upgrade solutions technology with high-speed data connections and stability offered by 5G.

Meanwhile, True yesterday announced its cooperation with Mitsubishi Electric Factory Automation Thailand, a major industrial technology provider, and Lertvilai, a robotic and automation system developer, to provide a 100% unmanned e-factory platform embedded with 5G private network.

Piroon Paireepairit, head of the 5G working group at True, said 5G-equipped AMR could support 5G smart factory concept with real-time operation and management.

The smart factory can also be home to various Internet of Things (IoT) devices and augmented reality (AR) system to ensure effective monitoring operation in real-time basis via smartphones or tablets.

Wichiene Ngamsukkarsemsri, managing director of Mitsubishi Electric Factory Automation Thailand, said the firm has worked with over 900 companies to develop automation solutions. Its 10,000 solutions have been used worldwide.

As for Thailand, Mitsubishi Electric has provided the e-F@ctory system for smart automation manufacturing in the country for more than five years.

The company has worked with the Eastern Economic Corridor to set up EEC Automation Park in Chon Buri's Bang Saen where automation innovation and human resources can be developed to cater to the industrial sector.

Mr Wichiene said that the partnership with True and Lertvilai is aimed at providing autonomous mobile robots embedded with 5G to serve vertical industries.

"The solution is demonstrated at EEC Automation Park as a model for learning and further development in the future," he said.

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