Volvo’s remote-controlled wheel loader developed as part of the PIMM project.
The Telia 5G Partnership Program represents a new era of digital innovation and aims to provide a select group of industry partners with a platform to develop their own technologies, Volvo CE says. The company plans to explore autonomous machines and developing site solutions that increase safety, productivity and uptime.
Volvo CE will be able to test 5G enabled technologies at a site in Eskilstuna, Sweden. The company says only a handful of companies from across the Nordic countries and from a range of different industries will be chosen to take part in the two-year program. It is a collaboration between Telia with Swedish mobile telecoms firm Ericsson as its technology partner.
“The advantages of a faster, more reliable 5G network represent a huge step forward in connectivity,” Patrik Lundblad, Volvo CE’s senior vice president of technology, says. “Within the construction industry, it opens up great potential for processing mobile data and will inevitably impact the ways in which our machines communicate and interact remotely. To be at the forefront of this digital revolution and collaborate on developing new technologies is a gamechanger for Volvo CE.”
This new generation of mobile network is expected to deliver faster transfer speeds and is therefore capable of transporting huge amounts of data in less time, the company says. Volvo CE will test its potential by creating a local cellular network at its facility in Eskilstuna, Sweden, and use it to expand its competences and develop its ongoing research into autonomous technology.
In sectors such as mining, where it can take several hours of ventilation after blasting rocks before the environment is safe enough for operators to enter, Volvo CE says moving closer to removing humans from the production site entirely will bring great advantages in productivity and safety.
“5G allows us to transport data in ways that we could only ever dream about and can increase the possibilities for autonomous and remote-controlled machines in our future,” Calle Skillsäter, Volvo CE’s technical specialist for connected machines, says. “By eliminating the potential safety hazards and downtime associated with operations like mining, we can move closer to fulfilling our ambitions to deliver zero emissions, zero accidents and zero unplanned stops.”
Volvo CE has also collaborated with Telia and Ericsson on a digital mining project last year. The Pilot for Industrial Mobile Communication in Mining (PIMM) saw the testing of a concept remote-control wheel loader designed to operate more than 1,312 feet underground. Volvo says this latest program will allow it to develop its advanced mobile communication expertise even further.