Sun shines on first private cellular campus smart manufacturing network in Greece

Supporting the digital transformation of Greek enterprises, comms tech provider implements connectivity system based on the deployment of a private cellular campus network at solar thermal products provider

In a bid to accelerate Industry 4.0 in Greece in use cases such as smart manufacturing, local operator Cosmote has teamed with Ericsson to deliver the country’s first private cellular campus network for smart manufacturing, deployed at the automated, solar water heater production facility of manufacturing firm Calpak.

Based in the municipality of Loutraki, Calpak has more than 44 years’ experience in the conversion of sunlight into thermal energy and the provision of solar thermal equipment at what the firm claims is an “unparalleled” price-quality ratio. The company’s factory is situated in Corinth in a 25,000m2 field, with 4000m2 dedicated to production. New production areas are under construction to cope with increasing demands.

Calpak says it is now facing the challenge to spread its products across the world, with the aim of establishing a sustainable and commercially viable solar energy business. It says it remains committed to developing solar thermal systems that can meet individual demands for a safe, reliable and clean form of energy.

The new campus network is designed to meet Calpak’s immediate and future needs by providing advanced wireless connectivity for the factory’s two fully automated production lines. The private cellular campus network, which was designed and deployed by Cosmote in partnership with Ericsson, provides connectivity with security and flexibility, resolving key challenges of smart manufacturing.

Using licensed spectrum, the 4G/LTE technologies are said to providing “highly reliable” services that perform well even under heavy data loads.

As part of the project, Gizelis Robotics is providing connected robotic arms while PTC’s industrial IoT (IIoT) and augmented reality (AR) platforms have also been integrated into the campus network.

Using machine learning algorithms and data analytics procedures, critical data from the robotic arms are collected in near-real time and utilised for providing a series of innovative applications. These include production monitoring from anywhere, the introduction of predictive maintenance processes, and remote expert guidance in the event of production line malfunctions.

With its new fully connected, automated production ecosystem, Ericsson is confident that Calpak will benefit from increased productivity, lowering cost and continually optimising quality, all while ensuring fewer disruptions in its operations.

“At long last, we are witnessing the realisation of the great potential of mobile broadband and in particular the use of 4G/5G technology for improving the productivity and competitiveness of the Greek manufacturing sector,” said George Pappas, chairman and managing director at Ericsson Hellas. “This is a historic moment for Ericsson in Greece, as we are adding yet another key ‘first’ to our long and successful presence in the country.”

Grigoris Christopoulos, group chief commercial officer, business segment, at Cosmote parent OTE, said the partnership would show how providing businesses with systems that accelerate their digital transformation would not only enhance their competitiveness, but would also help the Greek economy to grow. “With technology as our ally, along with 5G’s unlimited possibilities, we will create a better world for all,” he added.

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