Korea Telecom to offer 5G smart factory for manufacturers
KT will begin smart factory services, powered by its fifth-generation (5G) network and other information and communications technologies, to help the manufacturing industry increase business efficiency and competitiveness.
The firm said in a news conference in Seoul that it plans to release smart factory-related products including collaborative robots, a machine vision system and smart factory control system FactoryMakers within the third quarter of the year.
The mobile carrier will also continue to cooperate with partners in research and development to advance the service.
“Domestic manufacturing companies have been insufficiently competitive with the exception of some conglomerates,” said Lee Yong-gyoo, a senior vice president who heads KT’s 5G platform development unit. “5G will be a steppingstone to improve the competitiveness of the nation’s manufacturing industry.”
According to a report by the KT Economic Management Research Institute, 5G will create value worth 15.6 trillion won ($13 billion) for the manufacturing business by 2030.
Based on the potential, KT included the smart factory system in its 5G business-to-business area in the second half of last year and has been developing related systems and services since then.
The telecom firm has formed various partnerships with companies specializing in smart factory systems, including Hyundai Robotics, Cognex, Telstar Hommel and Yudo Group.
KT said its smart factory products will be powered by a 5G network designed exclusively for enterprises, noting that corporate 5G will feature enhanced security to prevent cyberattacks.
The firm will also offer an edge cloud system designed exclusively for manufacturing companies, which will help them save and analyze data more conveniently, and recover system failures more easily.
FactoryMakers, a smart factory control system unveiled during the media event, connects factory equipment to online platforms, enabling remote monitoring of factory processes, the firms said.
Lee said his firm is currently developing services enabling companies to predict the timing for maintenance of equipment, utilizing its artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
“KT has been analyzing various data collected from three factories in which our smart factory system has been running on a trial basis,” he said. “Based on the results, we will release smart factory products within the third quarter of the year.”
Lee added his firm will continue to expand its cooperation with other partners.
Kim Dong-hyuk, a Hyundai Robotics official who was present at the media conference, said, “Once KT’s technologies are integrated, we will be able to deploy mobile robots.”