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Hitachi and Ericsson

Hitachi and Ericsson

Enabling smart factories with 5G-driven computer vision

Hitachi Astemo validates private 5G wireless for mission-critical production line automation

In collaboration with Ericsson and AWS, learn how Hitachi America R&D is leading the manufacturing industry to innovate a groundbreaking computer vision solution, leveraging private 5G wireless, cloud, and AI/ML models. This result enables manufacturers to detect product defects more precisely and earlier in the production process for improved product quality and reduced cost of waste.


In a collaborative effort to pursue the art of the possible, Hitachi, Ericsson, and AWS joined forces to explore potential use cases for 5G technology in the manufacturing industry. Toward that goal, teams from Hitachi America R&D, Ericsson, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) designed a trial of a model private 5G wireless infrastructure for computer vision at Hitachi Astemo’s manufacturing plant in Berea, Kentucky. Leveraging Ericsson 5G radios, AWS edge-to-cloud technologies, and Hitachi’s video analytics suite, the trial determined that 5G provides stable, reliable connectivity for manufacturing use cases, such as defect detection, leveraging AI and ML models. In fact, for defect detection the trial demonstrated that computer vision using 5G could simultaneously inspect 24 assembly components compared with one-by-one inspection using conventional approaches. The trial also opened the door for further innovation for enabling smart factory capabilities to automate and optimize their operations from end to end.

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“Ericsson has knowledge and experience about how 5G can be deployed in a manufacturing environment because they’re investing in 5G for their own plants.”

— Shoji Yunoki, Project Lead, Engineering and Research, Hitachi America, Ltd.

The challenge

Historically, using computer vision on manufacturing production lines was challenging due to:

Lack of mobility
Difficulty running cables for wired networks into active manufacturing environments and other wireless technologies like Wi-Fi had range and performance limitations.

Difficult to scale
Each camera required building an individual IP address to onboard onto the IT platform, making it tedious and time-consuming to scale beyond a single location.

Limited resources
Both operations and IT staff had to divert precious time and resources away from their primary jobs to ”experiment” with computer vision.

The solution

Ericsson orchestrated a collaborative engagement with Hitachi America and Amazon Web Services to deploy a model private 5G wireless infrastructure, including:

Radio Network

  • Ericsson indoor 5G mmWave
  • LTE Radio Dots
  • Ericsson AIR 1281 Radios
  • Ericsson Street Radio 4402

Edge Network

  • Ericsson Private Network core
  • AWS Snowball Edge device
  • Hitachi video analytics platform
“Pairing private 5G with cloud technology not only enables vast scalability but also strengthens cybersecurity, dramatically simplifying the network complexities often encountered with other wired and wireless solutions.”

— Sudhanshu Gaur, Vice President of R&D, Hitachi America and Chief Architect, Hitachi Astemo Americas

The result

Hitachi America R&D, in collaboration with Ericsson and AWS, is leading the manufacturing industry in innovating on new 5G-enabled computer vision use cases that offer broad operational and business impacts, including:

Improving performance for live production-line quality inspections
The trial results showed that computer vision leveraging a private 5G wireless network and cloud technologies could inspect 24 times more components simultaneously than manual inspections to detect defects.

Enabling secure global scalability of private 5G wireless use cases
The model private 5G network will enable Hitachi Astemo to easily and securely scale computer vision use cases from the cloud to its 140 manufacturing sites around the world—essential to realize a strong return on investment.

Accelerating deployment of AI/ML models around the world
Private 5G enables rapid deployment of digital cameras and other edge or IoT devices nearly anywhere on the shop floor. It also accelerates uploading AI/ML models from the edge to the cloud where they can be trained, refined, or tailored for other manufacturing plants and redeployed in less than one week’s time.

Setting the state for OT/IT convergence
The connectivity enabled by private 5G wireless will soon converge operational technology and information technology, further extending valuable insights and opportunities for automation from the shop floor to the C-suite and across the entire supply chain ecosystem.

Shaping the future of manufacturing
Validating the use of private 5G wireless, edge-to-cloud, and AI/ML technologies in a manufacturing environment now opens a world of new opportunities for Hitachi and other companies to automate and optimize their operations from end to end.

Download full case study
“Working with collaborators like Ericsson and AWS to identify commercially viable solutions for our customers is an important part of what we do at Hitachi. By investing in innovation today we see great opportunities to have a lasting positive impact on the manufacturing industry of tomorrow.”

— Sudhanshu Gaur, Vice President of R&D, Hitachi America and Chief Architect, Hitachi Astemo Americas