Yokogawa and NTT DOCOMO have conducted 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. The trend to locate production facilities in remote and/or hazardous areas in recent years is fueling a growing demand for remote industrial operations and transforming how people work.
The demonstration test was conducted to verify whether a three tank level control system could be controlled using FKDPP in the cloud via a 5G network. A target water level was set, tests with low- to high-speed control cycles were conducted, and the effects of mobile-communications latency on FKDPP control were confirmed. Compared to 4G, the test demonstrated that especially with high-speed control, 5G delivers 1) lower latency, 2) less overshoot relative to the target water level, and 3) is capable of handling a control cycle as short as 0.2 seconds, thereby achieving better control for more stable quality and higher energy efficiency.
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.