Nippon Telegraph and Telephone: Yokogawa and DOCOMO successfully conduct remote control technology test using 5G, cloud and AI – Targeting remote and autonomous operations for process industries –

May 30, 2022

Yokogawa and DOCOMO successfully conduct remote control technology test using 5G, cloud and AI
– Targeting Remote and Autonomous Operations for Process Industries –

Yokogawa Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6841) and NTT DOCOMO, INC. (DOCOMO) today announced that they have conducted a proof of concept (PoC) test 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.*1developed by Yokogawa and the Nara Institute of Science and Technology, in a cloud environment and a fifth-generation (5G) mobile communication network provided by DOCOMO. The test, which successfully controlled a simulated factory processing operation, demonstrated that 5G is suitable for remote control of real factory processes.

The trend of locating production facilities in remote and/or hazardous areas in recent years is fueling a growing demand for remote industrial operations and transforming the way people work. Meanwhile, equipment used in factories to purify and refine resources and materials for essential products can deteriorate after many years of use, so remote and autonomous regulation and control would be extremely beneficial. . One possible solution is to install peripheral devices equipped for high-speed wireless communications in factories and use cloud-based autonomous control AI to dynamically control the equipment. Yokogawa has already proven that its FKDPP algorithm is a feasible autonomous control AI solution. During a field test in a chemical plant*2last February, for 35 days, FKDPP successfully controlled processes known to be difficult to automate using the existing PID*3and APCs*4control technologies, and which were therefore carried out manually. The combination of FKDPP and the cloud with 5G, which offers low latency and the ability to connect a large number of devices, promises to be a basic technology to achieve industrial autonomy.

Following an agreement between Yokogawa and DOCOMO announced on April 14, 2021, the demonstration test was conducted to verify whether a three-tank level control system*5could be controlled using FKDPP in cloud via 5G network. A target water level was set, tests with low to high speed control cycles were performed, 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 offers 1) lower latency, 2) less overshoot of target water level, and 3) is capable of manage a control cycle as short as 0.2 seconds, which achieves better control for more stable quality and higher energy efficiency.

Yokogawa, which has been advocating the concept of industrial automation for industrial autonomy (IA2IA) since 2019, aims to apply 5G technology for remote control of factories. In collaboration with DOCOMO and its customers, it will pursue the implementation of advanced initiatives aimed at facilitating the shift towards industrial autonomy.

DOCOMO continues to improve and evolve its network technologies, create advanced networks tailored to the needs of specific customers, and develop 5G solutions for various public and private purposes.

Yokogawa and DOCOMO, as members of the 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation (5G-ACIA), which is researching industrial applications for 5G, will continue to evaluate the use of 5G for industrial operations. autonomous factory remotely. By conducting demonstrations in a wide range of customer factories and examining communications reliability and latency issues during long-term use, companies will strive to achieve autonomous control compatible with the 5G and AI. 5G-ACIA will present the results of this demonstration test at Hannover Messe 2022*6between May 30 and June 2.

  1. The FKDPP AI algorithm, which uses reinforcement learning technology, can be applied to all kinds of control applications, including those that cannot be automated with existing control methods such as PID or APC control , to achieve challenging simultaneous goals, such as high quality and energy efficiency (see attachment for more details).

  2. Proportional-integral-derivative control, first proposed by Nicolas Minorsky in 1922, is an infrastructure control technology for process industries that is used to control such things as quantity, temperature, level, the pressure and the ingredients. It implements a control aimed at target values ​​based on P, I and D calculations according to the deviations between the current and setpoint values. In some cases, due to the characteristics of the mathematical expression, a value may exceed (overshoot) the set value or take time to stabilize to avoid an overshoot.

  3. Advanced Process Control uses a mathematical model to predict process responses and deliver set values ​​to the real-time PID control loop to improve productivity, quality, and controllability. It is easily applied for control to increase production, reduce working time and save energy. APC results in smaller deviations in the data, allowing it to more closely approximate the limits of operating performance (i.e. optimal performance), but it is not adept at meeting the rapid vaporization of fluids, similar chemical reactions, major changes in the composition of materials, and changes in machinery.

  4. A three-tank level control system that is used for training and experiments involving regulating the flow of water from one level to the next with the aim of controlling the water level at the level of the highest tank. down.

  5. One of the largest international manufacturing exhibitions in the world, which attracted some 6,500 companies and 220,000 people in 2019.

About Yokogawa

Yokogawa provides advanced measurement, control, and information solutions to customers in a wide range of industries, including energy, chemicals, materials, pharmaceuticals, and food. Yokogawa addresses customer issues regarding production, asset, and supply chain optimization through the effective application of digital technologies, enabling the transition to autonomous operations.
Founded in Tokyo in 1915, Yokogawa continues to work for a sustainable society through its 17,500 employees in a global network of 119 companies spanning 61 countries.
For more information, visit:


NTT DOCOMO, the leading mobile operator in Japan with over 83 million subscriptions, is one of the world’s leading contributors to 3G, 4G and 5G mobile network technologies. Beyond basic communication services, DOCOMO challenges new frontiers in collaboration with a growing number of entities (“+d” partners), creating exciting and practical value-added services that change the way people live and working. As part of a mid-term plan to 2020 and beyond, DOCOMO is pioneering a state-of-the-art 5G network to facilitate innovative services that will amaze and inspire customers beyond their expectations.

The names of companies, organizations, products, services, and logos mentioned herein are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Yokogawa Electric Corporation, NTT DOCOMO INC., or their respective owners.


NTT – Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corporation published this content on May 30, 2022 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on May 30, 2022 01:25:13 UTC.

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