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Testing 5G network in logistics operations at Herøya

Three men in working clothes and white helmets in a streeet in the industrial park

Test team Herøya: Yara Porsgrunn's test team will carry out a large number of tests on the use of 5G networks for logistics and loading operations in Herøya Industrial Park over the next couple of years. Left: Håkon Wærstad, technical manager, Arve Haavik, IT security expert and Stig Myrland, Head of Process Data, Yara.

Smart Logistics and Future Industry will move into Herøya this autumn. Yara uses Telenor's 5G pilot network to test digital logistics and loading operations in the industrial park.

In collaboration with Yara, Telenor has established 5G in the industrial park used in the EU's flagship project «5G Solutions», and for Industry 4.0 projects.

Input to Europe's 5G road map

Together with 23 other international players, Yara, Telenor and NTNU are three Norwegian partners who are helping to realize Europe's 5G vision, a roadmap for how 5G networks can contribute to developing the industry of the future and smart ports in practice.

Over the next two years, Yara will conduct a series of tests of 5G networks and equipment, involving users in the field at Herøya. They will test, among other things, coverage, download and upload speeds, delays and other elements that will clarify whether 5G is a good choice for the future, now that the next industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, is on the way.

Operators perform user tests

Two men in white helmet with mobile device at hand testing

Out and about testing, Arve Haavik, IT security expert and Stig Myrland, Manager Process Data. Photo: Ole Bjørn Ulsnæs.

Soon, logistics operators in Yara Porsgrunn will have a tablet in hand with systems connected to Telenor's 5G network.

"We start by testing the use of tablets, and gradually we expand to more areas of use within logistics functions here at Herøya", Arve Haavik and Stig Myrland say. "A number of field tests will be carried out. Operators, technology experts and other users of the equipment will test usability, Cyber security and how the systems connected to Telenor's 5G network work in different operations."

The testing is carried out in close collaboration with TietoEVRY's developers. "They have developed the systems that now communicate across people, machines and equipment in real time," Haavik and Myrland say.

EVRY was chosen as the supplier of an IT solution for fully automatic data flow for the Yara Birkeland project a year and a half ago. They are now working on digitizing the workflow which today is based on email, fax and telephone.

Unique possibility

The 5G project, EU-Solutions, is a good test arena, according to the technologists at Yara. They claim that Yara's goal of automating the entire logistics chain, with self-propelled vehicles and automatic work operations, was the trigger for joining the EU's 5G project.

Photo of mobile device showing 5G speed

Speed testing: Speed testing is carried out to check that the logistics systems are updated in real time. This is absolutely central when operations related to filling around 100 containers daily, and moving empty and full containers are to be controlled from tablets and PCs in the field. Foto: Ole Bjørn Ulsnæs.

"We have been given a unique opportunity to continue the work," says technical manager Håkon Wærstad enthusiastically. "Much of what we have learned from the Birkeland project in the last couple of years, we now use into the 5G Solutions project. Telenor's 5G network has already been developed along the logistics trail, ready for use. We will share knowledge that helps to develop the industry of the future and smart logistics."

Important Piloting Project

Ove Fredheim, head of Telenor Bedrift, emphasizes the importance of test operations in the pilot project together with Yara.

"For Telenor, it is always positive to work with forward-looking industrial initiatives that have ambitions. The industry places new demands on us and therefore we carry out pilot projects here to be able to learn from each other. Being able to push the boundaries for the use of new mobile technology, dare to think big, is both exciting and important for driving development forward," he says.

Road maps for 5G in industry created now

The race to adopt 5G technology in industry and society worldwide is in full swing. The road maps for industrial companies in Europe and Norway, and also Herøya Industrial Park, are now being prepared.

Figure showing test areas

The figure shows elements planned to be used in the test setup. Cyber security is a success criterion. Arve Haavik, IT security expert, says that the system must not only work technically, it must also be possible to implement Yara's Cyber Security solutions, designed to keep facilities both secure and operational.

Read more: What is 5G Solutions?

The EU's Flagship project implements tests with advanced 5G equipment in the field involving those who use and operate the equipment.

5G-Solutions is part of the EU 5GPPP Phase 3, (Public Private Partnership under Horizon Europe) and is based on 5G infrastructure that the EU project 5G-VINNI establishes. 5G-VINNI is led by Telenor Research. Telenor Norway has established Telenor's 5G pilot network at Herøya in collaboration with Telenor Research.

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