Ericsson announced that Lewisville, Texas, will be the location of its fully automated smart factory in the United States. The 300,000-square-foot state-of-the-art factory, announced in June, will produce 5G and Advanced Antenna System radios to boost network capacity and coverage to meet the demand for rapid 5G deployments in North America.
The smart factory will begin commercial operations in early 2020 and will be powered by Ericsson 5G solutions tailored for the industrial environment. Fast and secure 5G connectivity will enable agile operations and flexible production. Ericsson’s 5G industrial solutions include automated warehouses, connected logistics, automated assembly, packing and product handling, and the use of autonomous carts.
Ericsson worked in close partnership with state, county and city officials to bring economic development and jobs to the State of Texas.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, says: “From manufacturing to technology, the Texas economy is firing on all cylinders thanks to investments of world class companies like Ericsson. I am proud that Ericsson has chosen Texas to expand its operations, and can assure them that as Governor, I will continue to promote pro-growth policies that reduce the heavy hand of government regulation and encourage expansion in the private sector.”
Lewisville Mayor Rudy Durham says, “Lewisville is very honored to be home to Ericsson's 5G radio “Factory of the Future.” As one of the largest providers of information and communication technology in the world, Ericsson has consistently delivered innovative and sustainable products and services. Innovation and sustainability are also key priorities for the Lewisville community and our vision for the future. We look forward to our partnership. We welcome and congratulate the Ericsson family on making Lewisville its home for the state-of-the-art factory.”
Ericsson is leading the way to support its customers in the race to deploy 5G in the U.S. This factory, combined with multiple strategic investments in North America, will accelerate 5G innovations and develop the ecosystem around Industry 4.0 in the region. The combination of 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will create an ecosystem that will foster innovation and technology leadership, which will drive the rapid deployment and adoption of 5G in the U.S.
The factory is an example of Ericsson’s commitment to support the rapidly increasing demand for 5G in North America. Over the last two years, Ericsson has made significant investments in the region, including:
- Opening of a 5G ASIC Design Center in Austin, Texas, to help accelerate 5G product development
- Creation of Global Artificial Intelligence Accelerator innovation hubs in Santa Clara, California and Montreal, Canada, to speed up adoption of advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning
- Launch of D-Fifteen in Santa Clara, California, a new co-creation center in Silicon Valley for industrial partners and service providers to drive the next industrial revolution, powered by 5G, IoT and AI
- Opening of Ericsson’s best-in-class Center of Excellence training facility in Lewisville, Texas, to attract, train and develop industry-leading tower climbers and field services staff
- Production of the first 5G radios in the U.S., with a production partner in St Petersburg, Florida, during 2018
- Establishment of a new radio network software R&D center in Austin, Texas
Niklas Heuveldop, President and Head of Ericsson North America, says: “As the commercial 5G network rollout continues to accelerate across North America, Ericsson is excited to lead the global technology evolution in close partnership with our North American customers, with a clear focus on value creation for consumers, enterprises and society at large. We continue to increase our investments in the U.S., so that we can more rapidly respond to customer demands, accelerating our pace of innovation and time to market for critical new products. Lewisville is an ideal location for this factory of the future, demonstrating how 5G, IoT and AI will transform industries, leading the way for increased investments in smaller, nearshore manufacturing sites with unique mass customization capabilities and significant positive impact on sustainability and customer experience.”
Ericsson’s commitment to creating positive sustainability impacts is reflected in the smart factory, which is designed to be up to 28 percent more energy efficient than comparable buildings. Ericsson is investing in innovative technologies to reduce energy costs and consumption, such as friction-free magnetic levitation chillers and thermal energy storage banks that hold ice made at night, which is melted during the day to provide cooling. Ericsson also plans to install solar panels to generate onsite renewable energy and install 26,000-gallon tanks to collect and reuse rainwater. Ericsson is pursuing LEED Gold and LEED Zero Carbon certifications for the smart factory, which will make it the first Ericsson factory globally to achieve this distinction.
Ericsson will initially employ approximately 100 people at the facility, which will have highly automated operations, as well as a modular and flexible production setup to enable quick ramp up and rollout of 5G equipment. The company’s direct investment in the factory is approximately $100 million.