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How to build a network that performs well under all conditions?

Digital transformation highway

BYD chooses Huawei to help it manufacture Electric Vehicles intelligently

BYD, the world’s largest seller of Electric Vehicles (EVs), provides a valuable reference for manufacturers seeking to go digital using intelligent networks.

Originally a maker of car batteries headquartered in Shenzhen, China, the company began manufacturing vehicles in 2003, Since then, it has produced more than 4 million EVs, including 1.86 million in 2022 alone. Last year, BYD exported more than 240,000 vehicles, and is ramping up its global market expansion.

Infrastructure under stress

BYD is growing fast. In 2022, it made the list of the Fortune Global 500, ranking third by market value among global automobile companies.

To support this growth, BYD needed to migrate more of its design work, R&D, applications and production lines onto the cloud. And with the number of network devices on the rise, handling Operations and Maintenance (O&M) manually was becoming a serious burden.

These changes posed enormous challenges to the network infrastructure on BYD's campus.

First, diversified applications and cloud adoption for production and R&D put a strain on the network. Periodic interruptions slowed down R&D simulations slowed down the R&D process; freezing or disconnections during video conferences hindered communication.

So a key question was how to build a network that performs well for a wide variety of services?

Second, production lines had begun to rely more on wireless networks, placing a huge burden on signal strength and roaming coverage. In addition, wireless devices began to outnumber wired ones. At this point, BYD had over 100,000 wireless devices on the network. The system had to reconcile differences in the way permissions had traditionally been granted for wired connections, versus the increasing number of new wireless ones.

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.

Transformation on a solid foundation

BYD chose Huawei to help it build a high-quality campus network featuring ultra-fast access, high reliability and user experience, simplified architecture, and simplified O&M.

BYD’s production relied increasingly on high-bandwidth networks. For example, R&D simulation involves a lot of high-definition graphic rendering, the process of generating a photo-realistic image using a computer program. This requires the transmission of huge volumes of data between cloud servers and local terminals, as well as ultra-low latency (delay) on the network – despite the high quantity of data being transmitted. Even simple hi-definition video calls from one office to another needed high bandwidth and low latency.

The campus network they built together supported 10 Gigabit Ethernet (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.

For office scenarios, Huawei and BYD jointly built a high-quality wireless office network offering 10GE uplink speeds and other benefits. Supported by leading AI technologies, the new network made sure every employee got a signal. Users could roam anywhere with no interruptions in service, and could join a meeting without the video freezing up.

Many production scenarios, such as battery and semiconductor production and warehousing, require wireless networks for backhaul – that is, sending signals from terminal devices back to the network. Various types of terminals need to be connected, including barcode scanners, dashboards, tablets, and automated guided vehicles, a type of industrial robot.

To address these needs, BYD conducted site surveys using Huawei's advanced 3D network planning tool and deployed Huawei's next-generation access points, which act as a bridge between wired and wireless networks. Compared to previous technology, these APs provide more stability, faster access, and higher concurrency (the ability to send and receive data from multiple active services). They can be used for the Internet of Things (IoT), connecting more than 500 work-in-process vehicles and thousands of smart terminals and sensors. Furthermore, big data technology and algorithms were used to 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.

The platform also harnesses the power of AI. Huawei's iMaster NCE-CampusInsight, an intelligent network analysis platform, applied AI to operations and maintenance. It collected performance metrics and network device data, combining AI algorithms with other technologies to free O&M personnel from handling alarms and masses of logs.

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 something goes wrong, it takes just minutes to find and address it, ensuring production and services remain uninterrupted.

Since its commercial deployment, the intelligent O&M system has helped BYD improve network O&M efficiency by 48%, with 60% fewer complaints about network faults.

Building a traffic highway

BYD also needed a high-capacity data center network. It chose Huawei's most advanced CloudEngine 16800 series switches and CloudEngine 6800 series switches, creating a digital highway for interaction between hundreds of thousands of terminals and over 2,000 servers across the entire network. These devices also offer powerful scalability, preparing 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 EV development, and for automakers' digital transformation. 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.

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.

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