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Toyota Material Handling transforms production operations with Ericsson Private 5G

  • Ericsson collaborates with STEP to enhance Toyota Material Handling’s operations with private 5G and coverage extension solutions.
  • Ericsson is extending carrier coverage to optimize worker communications, IoT-based predictive maintenance, fleet management, and telematics.
Smart manufacturing enabled by private 5G
Business-critical operations at the almost 200,000 square feet warehouse are now run exclusively over the on-site 5G private network

Toyota Material Handling’s major production complex in Columbus, Indiana, U.S., is enjoying increased productivity, faster deliveries to customers and boosted employee morale since the operational launch of a private 5G network at the facility, designed and installed by Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and channel partner, STEP.

Toyota Material Handling management reported the benefits following the decision to replace on-site Wi-Fi solutions with Ericsson private 5G products and solutions, including the indoor-connectivity-focused Radio Dot System. Business-critical operations at the almost 200,000 square feet warehouse are now run exclusively over the on-site 5G private network leveraging CBRS spectrum, with no disruptions or connectivity loss reported since its operational launch in November of 2023.

Daniel Schumacher, Vice President of IT Technology, Toyota Material Handling North America, says: ​“This partnership is a great example of a core Toyota principle – ‘Genchi Genbutsu’ – which roughly translates to ‘go and see with your own eyes.’ When we started discussions with STEP, they voluntarily came to our campus and spent several days to truly understand our operations before recommending solutions. Ericsson was able to accomplish in two-to-three months what would have taken us nine-to-twelve months working directly with telecom providers. Their private 5G solutions helped us stay focused on our top priority - our customers. This project is just one example of Toyota’s ongoing strategic efforts to advance and modernize the infrastructure supporting our operations in Columbus.”

Ericsson and STEP worked closely with three major U.S. carriers on design, deployment, and rebroadcast agreements to ensure adequate coverage extension across Toyota Material Handling facilities. The integration of Ericsson Private 5G and the Ericsson Radio Dot System boosted network reliability and security, while extending public cellular coverage into its facilities.

Ed Walton, CEO, STEP, says: “Industry 4.0 strategies require scalability and flexibility to address diverse needs. With the help of STEP, the deployment of Ericsson Private 5G and Radio Dot System enables Toyota Material Handling to increase operational efficiencies and secure data on site, while addressing diverse user needs and driving real business outcomes.”

Toyota Material Handling plans to continue its Industry 4.0 transformation with private 5G by evaluating automation (including automated vehicles) across other operational facilities.

Manish Tiwari, Head of Private Cellular Networks, Ericsson Business Area Enterprise Wireless Solution says: “The early benefits already being highlighted by Toyota Material Handling show the immediate impact a private 5G network can have on operations, employees and customers. At Ericsson, we understand the importance of a strong, resilient, and secure network for businesses investing in Industry 4.0 best practices. Toyota Material Handling is at the forefront of Industry 4.0 innovation, and we’re excited to see how our private 5G solutions are already having a positive effect.”