LACROIX Group

Smart industry

In anticipation of our electronics factory of the future, SYMBIOSE, we are testing 5G benefits with Orange, a global telecommunications operator and leader in digital services. 5G will promote the modular wireless plant with better energy management.

LACROIX Electronics is running full-scale tests to display the benefits of 5G and its use in Industry 4.0 at its existing factory in Montrevault-sur-Evre (France), which is certified “industry showcase of the future”. These tests are part of the SYMBIOSE project, our electronics factory of the future currently under construction in France. As a tool for business recovery and transformation, 5G will enable manufacturers to develop the concept of a modular factory and improve the technical management of buildings.

  • To carry out this test, Orange designed and deployed an indoor 5G network based on Ericsson equipment:
    Four indoor 5G antennas (Ericsson Dot) were installed inside the plant, broadcasting experimental frequencies to cover the production space.
  • Orange operates a virtualized core network, distributed between the Orange premises and the LACROIX Electronics plant. This enables local processing and data security, as well as network performance and efficiency, suitable for LACROIX Electronics case studies.

5G, a first step toward the modular plant

We want to co-innovate with Orange to make the plant more adaptable. The reliability of wireless connectivity will provide more flexibility in the organization of machines. The setting up of the work cells in the factory will then be adjustable according to the type of production needed.

The reliability of 5G will also allow for better production quality control. By taking high-resolution pictures of electronic processes, for example, real-time verification of the quality of welds and the presence of components can be performed. Taking and sending images in real time can be combined with Machine Learning in order to improve detection algorithms and also ensure that there are no errors in the batches produced or if a readjustment of a machine is necessary.

5G, an innovation driver for more efficient plants

With Orange, we are also testing 5G’s contribution for better technical management of buildings and infrastructure. The experiment is carried out in a controlled environment, where electronic cards are produced for the avionics sector. The assembly of components requires both strict temperature and hydrometric regulation to prevent damage. LACROIX Environment, our subsidiary specializing in water and energy network management, provides connected equipment to receive real-time measurements. Optimizing the settings will prevent over-consumption of energy. 5G will enable a response to the increasing number of sensors in the plant. In fact, 5G will be able to support up to 1 million sensors per km² (3GPP 5G standard). Over time, thanks to the increase in the number of sensors, it will also be possible to calculate the carbon footprint and power consumption required for the production of each product.

Orange enterprise customers will be able to visit our plant during the experimental period to discover the benefits of 5G for Industry 4.0.

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“We are very pleased to collaborate with LACROIX Group as part of this digitized, human and environmentally friendly factory of the future. 5G will be a digitization facilitator for Industry and a competitive lever for both the economic environment and all enterprises, regardless of size or location.”

Helmut Reisinger
CEO Orange Business Services

LACROIX-Group-Orange-experimentation-benefices-5G-vincent-bedouin

“LACROIX Group’s teams are mobilized and proud to be part of the 5G development for the industrial sector. The French electronics industry is changing, and our industry needs to be able to rely on wireless technology that can cope with the massification of data at our plants. This data is the information that will enable us to carry out predictive maintenance or provide reliable and secure information to our customers in real time. This co-innovation feeds our Smart Industry strategy and our electronic factory of the future – Symbiose – which will be launched in late 2021.”

Vincent Bedouin
CEO LACROIX Group