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Huawei Wireless X Labs sets up connected factory SIG to explore 5G applications in smart manufacturing

By Zenobia Hegde

Huawei Wireless X Labs has joined hands with several industry partners to announce the establishment of a Wireless Connected Factory Special Interest Group (SIG). This is the third in a series of SIGs created by X Labs, with others focusing on X Labs’ Digital Sky initiative and Wireless eHealth.The Wireless Connected Factory SIG has brought together partners in the field of smart manufacturing to conduct further research and promote extensive applications of 5G communication technologies in Industry 4.0.

The first SIG group meeting was also held, with guidance from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) being provided. All SIG members attended the gathering. These included: Huawei, ABB, Efort, Bosch, Beckhoff, Hikrobot, Geely, KUKA, and Shenyang Institute of Automation Chinese Academy of Sciences. Schneider Electric was also present.

Flexible manufacturing based on smart machines will help redefine future production lines. These next-generation machines featuring plug-and-play technology are growing increasingly flexible and can easily be adjusted to suit a diverse range of production domains.

It is important that factories be equipped with dynamic, high-performance communication networks to support such smart machines. Wireless technologies are an invaluable tool that can substantially help to reduce network construction and maintenance costs, while significantly boosting both productivity and safety.

The manufacturing industry holds the most immense potential for IoT applications. According to an analysis completed by Huawei Wireless X Labs, the connections in the manufacturing sector worldwide will reach 12.5 billion by 2020, with factory networks accounting for US $50 billion(€42.61 billion) of the potential market.

At the start of 2017, X Labs targeted wireless robotics as one of its main focuses in wireless use case research. After over half a year of hard work, X Labs and its partners decided upon the Wireless Connected Factory SIG’s four research priorities, namely cloud-based programmable logic controllers (PLC), wireless industrial cameras, wireless controlled automated guided vehicles (AGV), and industrial wearables.

Xu Heyuan, deputy chief engineer of CAICT said: “The release of the ‘Internet plus advanced manufacturing’ guidelines will promote the development of the industrial Internet and upgrade the traditional manufacturing sector. Wireless distributed intelligent communication technologies are set to play a fundamental role in the transformation of the manufacturing industry.”

“The formation of the Wireless Connected Factory SIG will help accelerate the development of all related technologies. The Industrial Internet Industry Alliance is fully prepared to work with the SIG towards jointly exploring all associated technologies, standards, and industries.”

“The mission of exploring future wireless use cases lies with X Labs,” said Ying Weimin, Huawei Wireless Research and Development President. “Huawei hopes that SIGs such as those set up by X Labs can discover and inspire many more 5G use cases and promote 5G technologies’ application in future smart manufacturing. Such efforts will contribute to the rise of connected factories. Huawei will work diligently alongside its partners to simulate further growth and innovation.”

The meeting also witnessed the signing of several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) between Huawei and ABB, Hikrobot, Effort, Geely, and Beckhoff. MoUs help lay a solid foundation for additional cooperation between […]

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NTT Communications to acquire Secure-24, a U.S. based managed services provider

By Zenobia Hedge

NTT Communications Corporation, the ICT solutions and international communications business within the NTT Group, and Secure-24 Intermediate Holdings, Inc. , a U.S.-based provider of comprehensive managed services, announced that their respective shareholders entered into a definitive agreement on November 13 (Japan Standard Time), pursuant to which NTT Com will wholly acquire Secure-24.

The demand for managed services is growing steadily worldwide and managed-IT services, one of Secure-24’s core businesses, are expected to see especially significant growth in the U.S. market.

Secure-24 specialises in delivering effective, comprehensive managed services that leverage proprietary, highly automated operation tools. Its clients represent Fortune 1000 companies in sectors including manufacturing, finance, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, insurance, government, transportation and more.

Mike Jennings

NTT Com will leverage Secure-24’s extensive portfolio of managed application and database services, including SAP, SAP HANA, Oracle, Hyperion, JD Edwards, Microsoft, Epic, custom, industry and other mission-critical applications.

Secure-24 is structured for continued growth, fueled by an in-house training academy that builds engineers from a mid-to-long-term perspective. In addition to over 100 industry and partner awards and acknowledgements, Secure-24 has been named one of Computerworld’s 100 Best Places to Work in IT for five consecutive years.

NTT Com and NTT Group companies including Dimension Data expect to combine Secure-24 services with NTT Group capabilities such as cloud to enhance their ability to meet hybrid IT requirements with high-quality managed services that are increasingly in demand worldwide.

“This acquisition brings the unparalleled service levels, application expertise, security and compliance support of Secure-24 to the global NTT community,” said Mike Jennings, CEO of Secure-24.

Going forward, NTT Com will continue supporting the business transformation of customers by steadily enhancing its IT functions and systems, including for evolving applications on cloud platforms, and thereby satisfy expanding needs for diverse, global managed services.

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