Swedish network vendor Ericsson has deployed a private 5G network at a 40,000 square-meter CJ Logistics warehouse in Icheon City, in South Korea. CJ Logistics is looking to scale the initial deployment, at its Ichiri centre, to 400 warehouse facilities in South Korea, plus 40 more sites globally, a press statement suggests. Ericsson said the logistics firm has seen a 20 percent increase in productivity at the Ichiri centre since the first installation.
CJ Logistics, with operations in 36 countries in total, recruited Ericsson to fix Wi-Fi “dead zones and repeated outages”, and from there to position it to “take advantage of next generation use cases and solutions”. The productivity uplift has mostly come from streamlining the warehouse picking process, where items are taken from shelves and prepared for shipping – by “enabling real-time communication between devices and systems”.
Ericsson said: “The new network enables tasks ranging from the intricate choreography of receiving, sorting and categorising goods to the coordination of loading and unloading processes.” It said the elimination of sub-networks, replaced by a single private broadband network, has also given rise to better-organised automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots on the warehouse floor.
AGVs and AMRs, along with higher-fidelity IoT applications like automated warehouse picking, are increasingly well-accepted in industrial environments as the business drivers for 5G to replace legacy Wi-Fi networks. “These can operate simultaneously at high speeds,” said Ericsson. “This will improve not only workflow but also safety, as vehicle speeds can be increased without the risk of unexpected events that could lead to collisions.”
CJ Logistics had been frustrated with its Wi-Fi network for such use cases, the statement suggested. “The decision to implement a private 5G network… was made after CJ Logistics experienced continued connectivity blackouts and dead zones despite installing 300 Wi-Fi access points throughout its warehouse.” IoT and AI are the watchwords for the logistics firm’s future applications, the statement said.
Ericsson said its 5G system, based on a “single server dual-mode core”, required “15 percent less capital investment compared to the wired alternative”.
Sangcheon Ryu, chief information officer at CJ Logistics, said: “Connectivity serves as a backbone, enabling seamless communication, data exchange and coordination among various devices, systems and stakeholders involved in complex operations. The ability to utilise dedicated industry spectrum ensures our network’s reliability and performance, making private 5G a strategic choice for our organisation.”
Thomas Norén, head of dedicated networks at Ericsson, said: “Our work with CJ Logistics is a groundbreaking example of the benefits a private 5G network can bring to a business. With only 22 radio dots installed, compared to 300 Wi-Fi access points, the private 5G network guarantees connectivity, supporting innovative end-to-end solutions for precise material flow, streamlined supply chains, heightened safety measures, cost reduction and sustainable practices.”