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5G mmWave Smart Factory

With the maturity of 4G networks, the development of mobile technology is now moving towards the next-generation 5G network. 5G technology will not only allow wider bandwidth transmissions, but also enable lower network latency and instantaneous connectivity to a lot of node devices. The advent of 5G will drive many potential applications in the field of smart manufacturing.

The application of 5G technology at ASE smart factories enables high-speed transmission and real-time data exchange that are suited for applications such as automatic handling systems, self-driving and overhead transport vehicles on the production floor. These systems replace physical handling, reduce the risk of occupational injuries in highly repetitive operations, and improve overall production efficiency. The use of unmanned roving vehicles that taps on unobstructed 5G signals within a controlled area, help to conduct routine inspection and respond to emergencies in real time.

Smart factories represent the next great leap for ASE to optimize manufacturing performance and accelerate towards digital transformation. Employees will undergo training and skill upgrades for higher value job roles. Machines will intelligently evaluate data, learn and improve in the performance of tasks. The introduction of 5G mmWave technology further allows ASE to expand its operational scope in line with the progress towards Industry 4.0.


What is 5G mmWave?

5G is an abbreviation for 5th Generation mobile networks that uses the frequency spectrum for sub-6 GHz. 5G spans 450 MHz to 6 GHz as well as millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequencies spanning 24 GHz to 52 GHz. Taiwan’s 5G mmWave utilizes 28GHz frequencies. The total bandwidth available to the 28GHz mmWave is about 10 times that of traditional 5G, which is ideal for the large-bandwidth and low-latency applications required by enterprises.

Why use 5G mmWave technology?

Compared with wired communication or other wireless communication using unlicensed bands, the biggest advantage of introducing 5G technology in smart factories lies in enabling mobility as well as superior network service quality. In addition, the 5G mmWave spectrum provide the necessary network conditions for smart factories to realise the full potential of autonomous processes by providing high-speed and low-latency wireless connectivity. Flexible manufacturing, better predictive maintenance and higher production efficiency can be seamlessly accomplished in a smart factory environment.

5G mmWave applications in semiconductor smart manufacturing

ASE has partnered with Chunghwa Telecom and Qualcomm Technologies on three use cases to demonstrate the efficacy of a private network powered by 5G mmWave technology deployed for enterprises. In an industry first, the ASE smart factory is powered by a made-in-Taiwan private 5G mmWave network service provided by Chunghwa Telecom, and supported by Qualcomm’s suite of mmWave solution platform.

Automatic inspection of production lines via AI and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV)

Traditionally, most of the production lines were inspected manually by workers. With 5G, cameras embedded in smart unmanned vehicles and AI enhanced big data analysis enable routine inspection and surveillance on the production floor. The tasks performed autonomously reduce manpower burden, detect problems immediately and ensure workplace safety.

The signal coverage of a wi-fi base station is usually not extensive enough to cover large manufacturing areas. The introduction of 5G mmWave however enables low latency and improves wireless connection to allow autonomous guided vehicles (AGV) to move seamlessly around the factory floors.

Remote AR Maintenance Assistance

The system provides ASE’s equipment engineers the convenience of conducting machine diagnosis and maintenance from a remote centralized control room. With augmented reality (AR) assistance, the engineers can synchronize with other colleagues from different locations, to service the equipment and hardware, and troubleshoot any problems. The low latency and high speed features of a 5G network allow the simultaneous transmission of high-resolution images captured during the maintenance process for back-end analysis. The ability to make real time adjustments significantly increase the efficiency in equipment maintenance.

AR experience @ASE Green Technology Education Center

To better communicate ASE’s water conservation efforts and innovations in water recycling, the ASE Green Technology Education Center has tapped on AR technology to provide visitors a rich and immersive learning experience. The seamless AR experience leverages on the low latency, high reliability and high bandwidth features of the private 5G mmWave network.

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