Ericsson announced plans to build its first fully-automated smart factory in the US.
The factory will produce Advanced Antenna System radios to boost network capacity and coverage, including rural coverage, as well as 5G radios for urban areas.
The new smart factory complements Ericsson's global supply chain, which ensures the company is working close to customers through its European, Asian and American operations, securing fast and agile deliveries to meet customer requirements. This builds on Ericsson's previously announced strategic initiative is the U.S. market.
Ericsson is also fast-tracking the launch of the next-generation smart manufacturing through a modular and flexible production setup in its existing own factories in Estonia, China and Brazil.
Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks at Ericsson, says: "We continue to focus on working closely with our customers and supporting them in the buildout of 5G globally and in North America. With today's announcement, we conclude months of preparations and can move into execution also in the U.S. In addition, we are digitalizing our entire global production landscape, including establishing this factory in the U.S. With 5G connectivity we're accelerating Industry 4.0, enabling automated factories for the future."
The company is committed to the factory being operational in early 2020. The smart factory will be powered by Ericsson 5G solutions tailored for the industrial environment and will also advance Ericsson's commitment to sustainability.
Ericsson plans to 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.
Ericsson began operations via a production partner for the first radios for the U.S. market produced at the end of 2018. The company also established a new R&D site - a software development center - in Austin, Texas. It is located close to the Austin ASIC Design Center, which opened in late 2017 and focuses on core microelectronics of 5G radio base stations.