NTT, Schneider Electric partner on Private 5G network trials to power IoT

March 21, 2022
The companies' combined capabilities enable a secure, on-premises end-to-end digital platform for Private 5G communications. NTT’s P5G solution is now being trialled in Schneider’s Lexington, KY facility with a roadmap for expansion.

NTT Ltd. on March 16 announced its collaboration with Schneider Electric to deliver the Private 5G (P5G) platform – co-billed by the companies as "an on-premise private network solution and digitization-enabling platform that can dramatically advance digital solutions in the manufacturing environment."

The long-standing partnership between NTT and Schneider Electric, an expert in digital transformation of energy management and automation technologies, builds on existing joint strategic innovations between the companies, focused on helping clients achieve efficiency and sustainability goals with advanced digital processes within the Industry X sectors.

In early 2022, the P5G platform will be piloted at Schneider’s Lexington, Kentucky Smart Factory facility. The site is the first of Schneider’s U.S. plants to become a smart factory technology showcase site, leveraging IoT connectivity, edge analytics, and predictive analytics to drive energy efficiency and further organizations' sustainability goals.

In the manufacturing sphere, the partners say the P5G platform will power key use-cases that solve challenges around equipment availability, machine performance, and product quality.

P5G use-cases

For example, the companies will integrate 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.

Through co-innovation, the companies say the solution will 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.

Per the partners, additional P5G 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 product.
  • Augmented reality solutions that enable remote worker support for enhanced equipment maintenance and management and worker experience.

“With this strategic partnership, we are confident that NTT's P5G 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,” said Shahid Ahmed, EVP New Ventures and Innovation at NTT. “Our P5G platform brings full-stack managed services, process workflow and IoT application integration capabilities that both addresses strategic objectives towards factory high performance and net zero carbon emission goals.”

“In partnering with NTT, Schneider Electric further extends its manufacturing expertise along with data center and network solutions to drive innovations for self-contained Edge Private 5G use-cases,” said Luc Rémont, Executive Vice President International Operations at Schneider Electric. “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."

Prefab data center

To further the partnership, NTT said it will 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 QTR 2022.

Schneider Electric’s prefabricated data centers help cloud and service providers scale quickly and efficiently while also meeting corporate sustainability goals. 

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