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South Korea launches 5G alliance for smart factories

The South Korean government said Thursday it will work with information and communication technology companies to apply the 5G network in advanced production lines to create “smart factories.”

A smart factory is a key concept in the fourth industrial revolution and is based on an agile, automated manufacturing environment. It covers everything from design to the distribution that makes full use of advanced sensors, connected machines, and network technologies.

The ministries of industry, technology, and start-ups launched a “5G smart factory alliance” with 19 companies and organizations, including SK Telecom Co., Samsung Electronics Co., Microsoft Korea Inc., Ericsson-LG and Siemens Korea, to standardize the 5G application technologies and explore new business models.

During the launching event, top mobile carrier SK Telecom demonstrated how to use the 5G network to conduct real-time quality checks and operate automated logistics systems at the smart manufacturing innovation center in Ansan, south of Seoul.

“Commercialization of the 5G network paved the way for South Korea to advance the development of smart factories,” Jang Hong-seong, who is in charge of SK Telecom’s IoT and data project, said.

“5G smart factories will create new values that surpass the present performance and market expectations,” Hong added.

The alliance is part of the government’s broader plan to create 30,000 smart factories and 10 smart industrial zones by 2022 to upgrade the South Korean manufacturing industry’s competitiveness.

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