BEIJING -- China has been expanding its 5G infrastructure at a rapid pace, utilizing the next-generation wireless technology to facilitate the digitalization of different sectors of the country.
By the end of June, some 1.85 million 5G base stations have been built, supporting over 450 million end users, both accounting for over 60 percent of the global total.
The rapidly expanding telecom network, featuring high speed, high reliability and low latency, has enabled futuristic scenarios in sectors like manufacturing, medical services and farming.
China's leading automotive lithium-ion battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) is digitalizing its battery plants.
The centrally-controlled production, ultra-high speed visual quality inspection and augmented-reality expertise system at the CATL production plant are all 5G enabled.
The 5G tech allows CATL engineers to monitor the entire workshop in real-time and quickly handle technical issues remotely as if they were on-site.
The cell coating is one of the most delicate processes in battery production since materials must be evenly spread on micrometer-thick copper or aluminum foils.
In the workshop, employees use tablet computers to control the extrusion heads of coating machines at full pace.
A two-story-high coating machine, measuring 100 meters in length, can handle a 100-meter-long foil per minute, producing one cell in 1.7 seconds. Its defect rate is recorded as merely one in billion, thanks to fast and stable 5G transmission.
The factory also has more than 200 5G-enabled automated vehicles shuttling through the assembly lines to transport batteries and other materials.
CATL plans to implement 5G tech in its 10 global production bases, said Chen Ling, the company's chief information officer.
The Jiangnan Shipyard under the China State Shipbuilding Co Ltd in Shanghai is also embracing the 5G tech.
The state-owned shipbuilder is working with scientists from Shanghai Jiao Tong University to develop a 5G-enabled smart system to shorten the working process in shipbuilding from 14 hours to about two hours.
Intelligent production facilities such as CATL and Jiangnan in China have continued to proliferate, making high-tech manufacturing a trend.