Aug 10, 2020

Ericsson: accelerating 5G technology in manufacturing

Sean Galea-Pace
2 min
Manufacturing Global explores Ericsson’s 5G report “5G for Manufacturing.”
Manufacturing Global explores Ericsson’s 5G report “5G for Manufacturing...

The importance of operating with a proactive and agile approach to manufactures is essential. In an era of intense volatility as a result of shorter business and product lifecycles, manufacturing companies worldwide face extreme pressure. Margins are being tightened more than ever as components are increasingly more varied and complex to produce, workforces are aging and are becoming more expensive to maintain.

Manufacturers are continuously on the look out for much-needed gains in efficiency and profitability that can be achieved through new process innovations. This includes the continued automation of robots and warehouse transportation and cutting cables to become truly flexible. 5G and IoT will be the key to enhancing and enabling these advances in manufacturing.

5G networks provide manufacturers and telecom operators with the opportunity to build smart factories that take advantage of technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence, augmented reality for troubleshooting and the Internet of Things (IoT). With 5G, operators can create new revenue streams. Alongside energy and utility, manufacturing represents one of the most significant sectors for new revenue potential for operators addressing digitalisation with 5G technologies. According to the Ericsson study ‘The 5G Business Potential’, the expected addressable market in 2026 will be US$113bn, a substantial 7% potential revenue growth from current service revenue forecasts.

5G technologies provide the network characteristics essential for manufacturing. Low latency and high reliability are necessary for supporting critical applications. High bandwidth and connection density secure ubiquitous connectivity. These are requirements that manufacturers currently rely on in fixed-line networks. The mobile 5G technology allows for higher flexibility, lower cost and shorter lead times for factory floor production reconfiguration, layout changes and alterations. Ericsson is at the forefront of 5G research and development. The company has initiated partnerships with leading technology and manufacturing specialists in a number of different countries. This allows for the development of 5G technologies based on real business needs.

Ericsson’s Tallinn factory is the first of its kind to use Augmented Reality for troubleshooting to help mitigate the cost of breakdowns – extra components, material, labor, and buffers – and reduce production downtime. Ericsson leverages AR to detect operational inefficiencies such as imperfect maintenance planning, failure diagnostics, but also for training. To date, Ericsson has still achieved time savings of up to 50%.

For more information about Ericsson’s 5G journey, click here!

Share article

Jun 23, 2021

Hexagon Revolutionises Manufacturing Design Process

Elise Leise
3 min
Fugaku’s supercomputer allows Hexagon’s clients can use complex CFD simulation to drive innovation in next-gen aircraft and electric vehicle manufacturing

A global leader in sensor, software and autonomous solutions, Hexagon recently announced that complex CFD (computational fluid dynamics) simulations can now be completed with the help of the world’s fastest supercomputer, Fugaku. Before this breakthrough, CFD simulations were far too expensive and time-consuming to run. Now, however, engineers can use these high-detail simulations to explore new ideas, iterate their designs, and optimise next-gen aircraft and electric vehicle manufacturing. 


Thanks to Hexagon, manufacturers can now analyse what they’re up against before starting their build process—with one-third the energy use of traditional simulations and a fraction of the cost. This is only the latest step in Hexagon’s mission to use design and engineering data to speed up smart manufacturing. As the company wrote: ‘The idea of putting data to work is part of Hexagon’s DNA’. 


What Are CFD Simulations?

Simply put, they’re simulations so complex and powerful that engineers usually have to spend hours upon hours simplifying their designs. 90% of an engineer’s time can centre around this task—but not with Fugaku-powered simulations. Now, original designs can be fed into the simulation software, reaching a much closer approximation of reality. 


With the ARM-powered Fugaku supercomputer, Hexagon’s Cradle CFD clients can now reduce simulation cost, conserve valuable energy, and integrate high-detail simulations into their daily operations. At a time when the automotive and aerospace industries are racing to bring safe and sustainable transport options to market, in fact, CFD simulations could be the key to success. 


How Does CFD Change the Game? 

As auto manufacturers transition to electric vehicles, they must understand how design adjustments will affect the vehicle in real-time. Instead of physically iterating their blueprints, they’d rather work it out in theory. With CFD, engineers can now pre-test critical safety, performance, and longevity features—for example, how aerodynamics will interact with energy efficiency, or how thermal management will operate under a range of parameters. Essentially, CFD simulations speed up the design process and cut down on costly mistakes. 


Said Roger Assaker, President of Design & Engineering in Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division: ‘Simulation holds the key to innovations in aerospace and eMobility. Advances such as the low-power Fugaku supercomputing architecture are one of the ways we can tap into these insights without costing the Earth, and I am delighted by what our Cradle CFD team and our partners have achieved’. 



How Did Testing Unfold? 

Hexagon collaborated with Fujitsu Limited to create and complete several test situations. Here’s a quick look at two of their trials: 

  • Prototyped a typical family car. This is only possible with enhanced computing power. The car model consisted of 70 million elements using 960 cores and was simulated until it reached a  steady-state using the RANS equation over 1000 cycles. 
  • Simulated transonic compressible fluid around an aeroplane. Made up of approximately 230 million elements, the simulation used 4,000 nodes using 192,000 computing cores and relied on 48,000 processes via Message Passing Interface (MPI). 

Tomohiro Irie, Hexagon’s Director of R&D for Cradle CFD, commented on the recent progress: ‘I expect that these technical developments will contribute to making the power of Fugaku more accessible for general use, bringing huge freedom and improved insights to engineering teams solving tomorrow’s problems today’. 

Overall, Hexagon intends to continue driving product innovation forward, with smart manufacturing that adapts to conditions in real-time, pursues perfect quality, and optimises designs for zero waste. And there’s little doubt about it. With 20,000 employees in 50 countries, coupled with Fugaku’s supercomputing capabilities, Hexagon is uniquely poised to succeed.

Share article