Leveraging the power of 5G, virtual reality (VR) and the Internet of Things (IoT), the project is an important prototype for medium-sized factories looking to tackle the challenges of a rapidly changing sector.
ASEFA, a leading manufacturer and provider of electrical switchboards for businesses and industries, is paving the way for how factories can carry out virtual tours safely and conveniently in the near future. Through VR headsets, these digital tours provide easy access to new and prospective customers, and ensure social distancing by eliminating the need for travel and in-person visits. Moreover, this collaboration with dtac also enhances security measures by introducing smart wireless surveillance systems with access to all areas of the premises.
Mr. Wichai Soontornvutikul, Executive Director of ASEFA PCL, said: “With this upgrade, we hope to see a 10% increase in visitors to the website and to the factory, expanding our reach to new audiences, including business owners and new-generation engineers familiar with the technology.”
Customers can also virtually visit the factory via a website, and ASEFA can support an average of 60 virtual visits per year.
The second component of ASEFA’s digital transformation into a smart factory involves an investment in 5G surveillance. Enhancing and modernizing the existing security system, 5G surveillance uses high-resolution imagery and high-volume wireless transmissions without requiring additional wiring. The improved system integrates facial recognition to provide contactless access control for employees and visitors, and alerts the company to any abnormalities, thereby delivering more efficient security.
Digital innovation is a priority for ASEFA. In addition to this project, the company has also established a new business division, the Innovation Group, for research & development work that seeks to enhance the capabilities of electric switchboards, respond to future usage needs, and differentiate ASEFA from its competitors. The Innovation Group will support the deployment of solar cells and embrace IoT for the improved monitoring and control of energy consumption.
With these industry-leading initiatives, and its alliance with dtac, ASEFA is an important use-case model for digital transformation in mid-range manufacturing, demonstrating how 5G and IoT can successfully be applied in a modern, state-of-the-art factory setting.
Mr. Krit Prapatsakdi, Head of Enterprise Sales Division at Total Access Communication PLC or dtac, said: “By bringing 5G technologies to support ASEFA’s digital transformation into a smart factory, we are raising the competitiveness of Thailand’s manufacturing industry, with the aim of attracting new investment to Thailand after the country reopens.”
The pandemic has led to increased investment within Thailand’s manufacturing sector, specifically for the creation of smart factories through IoT, artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies. According to the Kasikorn Research Center, the Covid-19 pandemic will accelerate the growth of the smart factory solutions (SFS) business by 10%, due in large part to the needs of large manufacturers that wish to reduce their dependence on labor.
Smart factories can enable continuous production and minimize an overreliance on traditional business operations that are vulnerable to pandemics and other disruptions. Beyond the pandemic, smart factories can also create greater flexibility for business lines and production, thereby increasing factory competitiveness.
dtac believes that becoming a smart factory entails greater connectivity, data collection, data integration and analytics. The 5G dtac network on 26 GHz enables this through intelligent camera systems that transmit real-time data to the control room, as well as factory access control with facial recognition.
In addition, dtac understands the importance of smart surveillance and energy management in a smart-factory setting. Data from the Deloitte 2020 Resources Study found that more than 48% of respondents are interested in reducing costs by investing in energy management systems.
dtac is ready to bring its extensive global experience to more pioneering collaborations that leverage 5G and other technologies to both respond to the challenges of the pandemic, as well as position Thailand as a model for medium-sized smart factories elsewhere in the world.
“We aim to support an exciting new industrial environment that is not only digital but will also create new, sustainable, and profitable solutions for changing industry structures,” Mr Krit concluded.