TCL Deploys ForwardX AMRs for World’s First 5G-Enabled AMR Project

The Huizhou factory of Chinese multinational electronics company TCL, specializing in surface-mount technology processes, has installed dozens of ForwardX Max 300 Lift Autonomous Mobile Robots to automate the movement of materials across the production facility. So far, the project has resulted in improved productivity across the production process, less labor dependency for material handling, and a quicker inventory turnover. The AMRs connect and communicate through a 5G network which was set up as part of TCL’s 5G+ Smart Factory Initiative.

“We believe in and promote the use of intelligent automation, such as AMRs, to support our factories globally by empowering their operations and automating unfulfilling work,” said Caijun Zhao, Head of the President’s Office for TCL Industries Holdings. “The project (with ForwardX) has been successful so far with seamless collaboration between the AMRs, workers, machines, and loading carts.”

Before beginning the project, TCL’s management identified 4 main pain points to tackle in the supply chain management of the TCL Operation Center:

– Lack of flexibility
– Network issues
– Dependency on manual processes
– Facility complexity

TCL completed the project rollout in March 2020 with China Mobile acting as the network service provider and ForwardX Robotics as the intelligent automation provider. As the world’s first 5G-enabled AMR project, TCL’s collaboration with ForwardX has been recognized across China as the first of its kind with it winning MIIT’s Bloom Cup, an accolade given to projects promoting the commercial 5G applications.

After observing positive results for the 5G Smart Factory initiative, TCL is evaluating the use of more ForwardX mobile robots for intralogistics workflows, such as raw material delivery, work-in-process transfer, and finished goods storage, in their other production locations. The goal to achieve unmanned material flow through their manufacturing facilities remains strong and TCL will co

ntinue to work closely with ForwardX to reach industry 4.0.

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