Recently, kit manufacturer Ericsson and cloud behemoth AWS have formed a union to create a revolutionary 5G powered machine vision system in Hitachi’s factory to assist in identifying flaws within the production line. In essence, this innovative system aims to harness the power of real-time digital visuals, artificial intelligence, and edge-to-cloud technologies to facilitate automated error detection.

This groundbreaking trial took place at Hitachi Astemo Americas’ electric motor vehicle plant in Berea, Kentucky. The system joined forces with Ericsson Private 5G and the AWS Snow Family to propel machine learning models within the busy Hitachi manufacturing complex. With the integration of Hitachi’s video analytics, real-time footage of component assembly was shared across the network, vastly improving the speed and accuracy of defect detection.

The machine vision system’s capacity is significantly larger than traditional mechanisms, with the ability to inspect 24 assembly components concurrently, as opposed to the one-at-a-time method used by human inspectors. High-resolution cameras used by the system could even identify defects at the sub-millimeter level – a feat far beyond manual inspection capabilities.

Head of PCN Commercial and Operations at Ericsson, Thomas Noren, stated, “These solutions can be deployed today in manufacturing and enterprise environments to deliver a range of early adopter competitive advantages. As global technology leaders, Ericsson, AWS and Hitachi America R&D have shown how collaboration can drive innovation.”

Sudhanshu Gaur, Vice President of R&D for Hitachi America and Chief Architect at Hitachi Astemo Americas, echoed Noren’s enthusiasm, stating, “The combination of private 5G, cloud and artificial intelligence/machine learning automated technologies has the potential to revolutionize the way we manufacture products, and we are excited to be at the forefront of this innovation.”

The idea of automatic defect detection and intelligent factory systems isn’t novel, but with the macro RAN market’s current uncertainty, suppliers like Ericsson are likely to invest more energetically into promoting and selling private 5G networks. Although the private 5G network market is a fraction of the general RAN market, it offers promising growth potential, making it an important focus area for the telecommunications industry.