Orange Business Services and Nokia are deploying a redundant and secure 4G-LTE private mobile network that can be upgraded to 5G network at Butachimie’s Chalampé plant in Alsace, France. The network uses the 2.6 GHz spectrum, which French regulator Arcep has designated for mobile networks built to meet businesses’ specific needs. It also uses TDD (Time Division Duplexing) to separate wireless transmit and receive channels.
Butachimie will connect factory equipment and assets to the network, which is expected to allow technicians to geolocate assets with pinpoint accuracy. Nokia will supply a dedicated core network as well as RAN equipment, so that all network data stays onsite. The companies said both the factory equipment and the data it generates will be visible on the network at all times, enabling the manufacturer to prevent failures and ensure continuous production.
This private 4G network allows Butachimie teams to gain controlled and effective access to information system applications; they can also take advantage of new services via wirelessly connected devices (geolocation, intercom, camera, real-time sharing of videos and images, etc.). In addition, the equipment and the data collected ensure a high level of network availability of more than 99.99%, which makes it possible to forecast incipient network failures and guarantee continuous production within the plant.
Stéphane Cazabonne, project manager at Butachimie, said: “Our digital transformation and modernization plan has to meet very stringent challenges in terms of security and availability. Therefore, it is essential for us to be able to rely on reliable partners who can provide us with technological robustness, personalized support, and our business knowledge and related uses. Thanks to Orange Business Services and Nokia, we are taking a new step towards developing the Factory of the Future by offering our operators new tools to increase our performance and competitiveness in our industry. With this scalable network, we can finally benefit from the performance and benefits of the technology, such as 5G, which is already predicted.”
Butachimie’s Chalampé Plant. Photo credit: Butachimie
Orange Business Services provides advice and technical support on full network management and the use cases around it. Industry 4.0 [1.] current or future. In the design phase, Orange Business Services considered the scalability of the private mobile network, in particular by designing an architecture adapted to the principles of Mobile Edge Computing.
Note 1. Towards Factory 4.0:
Since 2010 Butachimie has been involved in the MIRe project. All the electronics on the site will be completely reviewed and modified by 2022 in order to optimize production. Digitalizing our processes and incorporating digital tools will allow us to improve both performance and competitiveness. It will also speed up process development while following the fundamental rules of safety and sustainability.
Denis de Drouâs, director of the private radio networks program at Orange Business Services, said that Butachimie chose a private network that is “totally independent from the public network.” However, other manufacturers may select different solutions.
For example, Schneider Electric is using a hybrid network model that combines private and public 4G and 5G infrastructure. The network uses Orange’s commercial 5G frequencies in the 3.4-3.5GHz bands, but Schneider’s critical data is kept on its campus and can be used for low-latency, edge-based applications.
Orange says it “slices its public network” for enterprise customers, according to de Drouâs. However, that is not the same as “network slicing” (?) which requires a 5G SA core network. Commercial frequencies are used, and the “private slice” guarantees the customer a specific quality of service.
This 4G Private Mobile Network is the backbone for all future applications currently under development as part of the Butachimie digital transformation project.