eLTE Smart Factory

The eLTE Smart Factory Solution can be used for the following services: video surveillance, automated guided vehicle (AGV) remote dispatch, transmission of production line robot status, energy consumption monitoring of product line devices, and asset management.

Factories are now using different ICT technologies for different services. For example, they use wired networks to transmit video surveillance and to control robotic devices, and to collect data from factory and warehousing devices, use Wi-Fi communications to dispatch AGVs, use short-range wireless technologies to report energy efficiency monitoring data, and use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology for asset management. With so many technologies working together, network management is difficult and maintenance is expensive. These technologies are not the best choices for factories. Wired connections are difficult to deploy, and the operations and maintenance (O&M) costs are expensive. Wi-Fi communications are vulnerable to various types of interference, have poor handover capabilities, and their coverage is poor. Services are easily interrupted. Private short-range communications networks often suffer from severe intra-frequency interference and are hard to maintain. Factories need a multi-service wireless network, one that supports a wide range of terminals, and that can be centrally managed and maintained.

eLTE Smart Factory Solution

Solution Highlights

The eLTE Smart Factory Solution supports both broadband and narrowband. It uses multi-service wireless networks, allowing for access from a wide variety of terminals, ensuring end-to-end security. The network is centrally managed and maintained.

The eLTE-U network supports unlicensed 5.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz spectrums. It uses the latest 4.5G air interface technologies, inheriting excellent LTE performance and providing wide coverage, two to three times that of Wi-Fi. The eLTE-U network also supports seamless inter-cell handovers even when terminals are moving at up to 160 km/h. The network uses 9-level QoS control to ensure different service priorities. With these features, the eLTE-U network can carry core service data in production campuses, such as AGV control information and robot status, achieving highly reliable and movable ubiquitous data access.

The eLTE-IoT network supports unlicensed ISM spectrums (470 to 510 MHz in mainland China). It uses advanced technologies such as Slotted ALOHA and small-packet fast transmission, allowing for up to 50,000 terminals in a single cell. The battery life reaches 10 years due to low power consumption, and the network provides indoor coverage of 0.5 to 1 kilometers. These enable efficient energy monitoring, asset management, and other services.

Success Stories

The Huawei Songshanhu factory uses the eLTE Smart Factory Solution for the following services: video surveillance, AGV remote dispatch, transmission of production line robot status, energy consumption monitoring of product line devices, and asset management. The factory uses an eLTE-U broadband network for video surveillance, AGV dispatch, and transmission of production line robot status. The factory uses an eLTE-IoT narrowband network for asset management and to monitor the energy consumption of product line devices.

AGV dispatch: The eLTE-U network provides two to three times the coverage of Wi-Fi, and there are no blind spots even in complex scenarios. The eLTE-U network provides good mobility, enabling AGVs to perform smooth, seamless network handovers between cells. The eLTE-U network has strong anti-interference capabilities, ensuring reliable access of a large number of AGVs with no data loss.

Robotic device data transmission: With the eLTE-U solution deployed, the factory does not need to reroute cables when robotic devices are added or re-deployed. This shortens the production line deployment or adjustment period. The eLTE-U network provides excellent coverage, two to three times that of Wi-Fi. There are no coverage blind spots, and the eLTE-U network has a strong anti-interference capability as well, ensuring reliable access for a large number of robotic devices, and with no lost data.

Efficiency monitoring: The inductive energy consumption tag (27 mm x 85 mm x 70 mm) has an integrated eLTE-IoT module. The factory uses this tag to monitor a device's power supply, to calculate how much electricity is being used, and to report this data using an eLTE-IoT AirNode. The energy consumption tag is powered by connection running in parallel, rather than the existing power supply cables. If a fault occurs on this parallel system, the power supply of the tag remains unaffected. The eLTE-IoT solution provides wider coverage, has stronger anti-interference capabilities, and supports more connections than the original energy efficiency monitoring solution of the 470 MHz ZigBee system.

Asset management: The asset management tag (69 mm x 39 mm x 18 mm) has an integrated eLTE-IoT module. The asset management tag reports the data using an eLTE-IoT AirNode, ensuring accurate statistics and positioning for the devices. The eLTE-IoT solution features lower power consumption, wider coverage, more connections, and more reliable transmissions than the original RFID-based asset management solution. The battery life of the positioning tag with an integrated eLTE-IoT chip is three years. An upgraded tag with can last five to six years. The eLTE-IoT network provides network coverage with a cell radius of 0.5 to 1 kilometer. This way, fewer AirNodes are needed to cover the entire factory. A single site supports access of up to 5,000 tags. Slotted ALOHA technology is implemented to reduce data packet conflicts. Small-packet fast transmission technology is implemented to improve transmission reliability.