This article is part of our Essential Guide: Essential Guide: State of 5G in APAC

Hyundai taps Singtel’s 5G network in electric vehicle manufacturing

Automotive giant is tapping Singtel’s 5G network and multi-access edge computing platform to manage and power its electric vehicle factory in Singapore

South Korea automotive giant Hyundai is tapping Singtel’s 5G network and Paragon multi-access edge computing (MEC) platform to manage and power its small-scale electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing plant in Singapore.

Hyundai’s EV production facility, part of the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre in Singapore (HMGICS), will harness Paragon’s capabilities to enable the factory to manage and analyse manufacturing processes and network performance, thus allowing real-time monitoring and feedback.

Paragon will also support Hyundai’s new capability that lets customers personalise and watch their cars being manufactured live via their smart devices. Once ready, the cars will be transported by autonomous guided vehicles to a 620m-long sky track for customers to test drive.

At the same time, HMGICS is developing a metaverse for the manufacturing industry, enabling automotive companies to test run a factory virtually and optimise plant operations without visiting the plant.

Hong Bum Jung, CEO of HMGICS, said through its partnership with Singtel, HMGICS will feature the Hyundai Motor Group’s first deployment of a 5G network in vehicle manufacturing, leveraging 5G for a cloud-based centralised mobile robot management solution.

“We believe that Singtel’s 5G solution will not only redefine the manufacturing process, but the partnership will realise Hyundai’s vision of becoming the first mobility innovator to build a ‘meta-factory’ concept, a digital twin of an actual factory, supported by a metaverse platform,” Jung added.

Lim Seng Kong, managing director of Singtel’s enterprise business, noted that Singtel’s 5G network and MEC platform would address the performance limitations of Wi-Fi to deliver the promise of digital twins – and eventually the metaverse for advanced manufacturing operations.

“With innovation from Hyundai and enablement from our 5G solutions, we are looking at a new concept of manufacturing…[and] unlocking opportunities for hyper-customisation and other novel applications,” Lim said.

The HMGICS was first announced in 2020 and is expected to be ready by the end of 2022. The facility will leverage Industry 4.0 technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) and robotics.

The logistics and assembly lines within HMGICS will be highly automated to establish a safe and efficient work environment. Hyundai will also test versatile systems that produce multiple EV models to respond to changing market demand.

Besides Hyundai, other manufacturing giants such as chipmaker Micron Technology are also tapping 5G connectivity to support Industry 4.0 applications.

Earlier this month, Micron announced that it is working with Singtel to deploy 5G millimetre wave (mmWave) applications at its 3D NAND flash memory fabrication plant in Singapore.

As the first in the city-state to pilot the use of mmWave in Industry 4.0, it will roll out a range of applications at its cleanroom, from automated visual inspections of individual chips to augmented reality (AR) for operations and maintenance.

The roll-out follows Micron’s trials of Singtel’s portable 5G technology kit, dubbed Genie, which validated the performance and operational benefits of mmWave applications in its cleanroom.

“This industry-first deployment proves that 5G networks can be used for high-precision quality control and manufacturing operations that were previously not possible with the limitations of Wi-Fi,” said Bill Chang, CEO of group enterprise at Singtel.

“Additionally, the implementation is a significant milestone in Singtel’s journey to accelerate enterprise 5G adoption and will serve as a case study to inspire other 5G-enabled manufacturing sites around the world,” he added.

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