Yokogawa Electric Corporation and NTT DOCOMO have demonstrated a proof-of-concept test (PoC) of a remote control technology for industrial processing.
The PoC test involved the use of an autonomous control AI, the Factorial Kernel Dynamic Policy Programming (FKDPP) algorithm developed by Yokogawa and the Nara Institute of Science and Technology, in a cloud environment and a fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications network provided by DOCOMO.
The test, which successfully controlled a simulated plant processing operation, demonstrated that 5G is suitable for the remote control of actual plant processes.
Yokogawa has already proven that its FKDPP algorithm is a feasible autonomous control AI solution. In a field test at a chemical plant this past February, for 35 days FKDPP successfully controlled processes known to be difficult to automate using existing PID and APC control technologies, and which therefore had been performed manually.
The combination of FKDPP and the cloud with 5G, which offers low latency and the capability to connect a large number of devices, promises to be a core technology for achieving industrial autonomy.
Yokogawa, which has been advocating the concept of industrial automation to industrial autonomy (IA2IA) since 2019, aims to apply 5G technology for remote plant control. In collaboration with DOCOMO and customers, it will continue carrying out advanced initiatives aimed at facilitating a shift toward industrial autonomy.
DOCOMO is continuing to enhance and evolve its network technologies, create advanced networks tailored to the needs of specific customers, and develop 5G solutions for diverse public and private purposes.
Both Yokogawa and DOCOMO, as members of the 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation (5G-ACIA), which is pursuing industrial applications for 5G, will continue to evaluate the use of 5G for remote, autonomous plant operations.
By carrying out demonstrations in a wide range of customers’ plants and examining communications reliability and latency-related issues during long-term use, the companies will strive to achieve 5G and AI-enabled autonomous control.
The 5G-ACIA will present the results of this demonstration test at Hannover Messe 2022, between May 30 and June 2.