ArcelorMittal France, Orange Business Services and Ericsson have announced the launch of 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.
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 digitalisation 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," said David Glijer, Director of Digital Transformation at Arcelor Mittal France.
The three partners 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 private cellular 4G and 5G networks suited for advanced industrial use cases and high-risk sites and Orange Business Services’ integration and support expertise.
"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," said Franck Bouétard, Head of Ericsson, France.
Industrial network performance
The 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. Indeed, the 5G private network will provide 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. It will have high throughput: to meet the high-performance requirements of modelled processes, connected devices, production data, etc.
Low latency is another important feature of the new private 5G network to support the deployment of autonomous vehicles and remote-controlled machinery as well as security in high-risk areas. Network slicing will allow services to be tailored to each business process and needs. Lastly, the network’s data security: to protect sensitive industrial data on-site.
Autonomous road and rail vehicles
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. These will be targeted to different business operations, including production, maintenance and logistics, enabling 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.