The 5G smart factory will be powered by solutions developed specifically for the industrial space
Ericsson announced yesterday that its first 5G smart factory in the U.S. will be located in Lewisville, Texas, not too far from its North American headquarters in Plano, Texas. The facility, which received a direct investment from the Swedish telecom of roughly $100 million, will open in early 2020 and will produce advanced antenna system radios to enable rapid 5G deployments, according to a company press release.
This news comes just days after Ericsson’s announcement that its automated smart factory in China is now operational. The Chinese factory produces 5G and 4G radio technology products, most of which support communication service providers in the Chinese market to increase network capacity, roll-out 5G and make Industry 4.0 a reality.
While the revelation about the U.S. facility’s location is new, Ericsson released an initial announcement about its intentions to build a 300,000-square-foot state-of-the-art factory last June.
The factory will be powered by 5G solutions developed specifically for the industrial space that will enable agile operations and flexible production, and include automated warehouses, connected logistics, automated assembly, packing and product handling and autonomous carts.
Niklas Heuveldop, president and head of Ericsson North America, called Lewisville the “ideal” location for the factory, and said that it will demonstrate “how 5G, IoT and AI will transform industries, leading the way for increased investments in smaller, nearshore manufacturing sites with unique mass customization capabilities and significant positive impact on sustainability and customer experience.”
Ericsson claims that sustainability was a priority when designing the building, which will be up to 28% more energy efficient than comparable buildings. The company also said it will employ approximately 100 people at the new facility with plans to increase that number to 400 over the next few years.
The smart factory is an example of Ericsson’s plan to continue increasing its investments in the U.S., and has received support from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai since the initial announcement in June.
“I applaud Ericsson for […] build[ing]a new factory in the United States that will […] produce 5G radios. Building 5G equipment in the United States is good for our economy, good for the supply chain and good for the rapid rollout of the next generation of wireless connectivity in the United States,” said Pai.