ArcelorMittal France, Orange Business Services and Ericsson has launched 5G Steel to test 4G/5G connectivity at ArcelorMittal’s industrial sites in France over the next three years.
The French government supports this initiative as part of the France Recovery plan. The Grand Port Maritime de Dunkerque, EasyMile and the Caisse des Dépôts are also among the project partners.
Orange Business Services, Ericsson and ArcelorMittal France have developed this project together, including the design of industrial use cases adapted to ArcelorMittal’s challenges and business requirements. The project is based on Ericsson‘s technology leadership within 4G/5G private cellular networks suited for advanced industrial use cases and high-risk sites and Orange Business Services’ integration and support expertise.
This deployment will meet the needs for industrial network performance and connected workers and operations in a production environment on complex industrial sites. The benefits include better energy efficiency and worker safety.
The 5G private network provides:
Extensive coverage: to cover all of ArcelorMittal’s complex industrial sites, both outdoors and indoors. Workers and machine operators can move freely with reliable connectivity anywhere on-site.
High throughput: to meet the high-performance requirements of modelled processes, connected devices, production data, etc.
Low latency: to support the deployment of autonomous vehicles and remote-controlled machinery as well as security in high-risk areas.
Network slicing: to tailor services to each business process and needs.
Data security: to protect sensitive industrial data on-site.
5G Steel will enable ArcelorMittal’s plants, starting with Dunkirk, followed by Mardyck in Hauts-de-France and Florange in the Grand Est area, to deploy use cases requiring high-speed cellular connectivity.
Targeted to different business operations (production, maintenance, logistics, etc.), these industrial use cases include better worker flexibility and mobility in different situations. In addition, autonomous rail vehicles in Dunkirk and Florange, autonomous road vehicles, remote maintenance with feedback from the field, virtual or augmented reality and safety devices are also relevant use cases.
The objective is also to enable the digital transformation of the French value chain ecosystem for industrial use cases. From the outset, 5G Steel will cover the Grand Port Maritime de Dunkerque and ArcelorMittal’s Digital Labs in Dunkerque and Florange, and tests are being conducted to extend the network to the Hauts-de-France and Grand Est regions.
David Glijer, Director of Digital Transformation at Arcelor Mittal France, commented: “ArcelorMittal is firmly committed to its digital transformation and is positioning itself as a leader in the digitalization of the steel industry. In production, maintenance, logistics and development, digital technologies have already begun to transform our processes, increase the reliability of our operations and improve the comfort and safety of our teams. The opening of our two Digital Labs in Dunkirk and soon in Florange is another illustration of ArcelorMittal’s desire to create an ecosystem at the crossroads of industry and digital.”
Valérie Cussac, Executive Vice President, Smart Mobility Services, Orange Business Services, said: “We are delighted to support ArcelorMittal in its digital transformation project. Within the framework of 5G Steel, we have worked with a use case approach. The project is co-piloted with ArcelorMittal using an agile method based on the collective intelligence of technical and functional experts. In addition, thanks to our dual expertise as an operator-integrator, ArcelorMittal will benefit from this solid private network , allowing maximum and secure critical data performance and improved productivity.”
Franck Bouétard, Head of Ericsson, France, said: “With 5G Steel, Ericsson is pleased to support ArcelorMittal in testing new industrial use cases based on 4G/5G cellular technologies. Ericsson once again demonstrates our expertise and technological leadership with private networks in a complex industrial environment.”
5G Steel, a network that enables new industrial use cases
With 5G Steel, ArcelorMittal will develop key industrial projects. Two examples:
Remote maintenance: equipped with tablets, maintenance teams can support operations and access the necessary documentation. Once the maintenance operation has been carried out, they validate it and record it directly in the company’s information systems. With augmented reality, the teams can also access documents, images or call on an expert remotely and live.
Autonomous vehicles: transport by rail is essential at ArcelorMittal’s large sites. The Dunkirk site, for example, has 44 kilometers of track to transport products between the various manufacturing stages.
With EasyMile, ArcelorMittal will launch the first autonomous train on an internal private network, which will be put into service in 2023. ArcelorMittal is also working on a heavy-duty road vehicle capable of transporting up to 120 tons of steel coils.