Smart-Ex® 03—5G Smartphone Digitalizes Communication in Spanish Energy Parks – Process & Control Today

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Cepsa, one of Spain’s largest integrated energy companies, operates two energy parks in the south of Spain. For years, employees at the plants have relied on Pepperl+Fuchs products to communicate with each other and document daily tasks such as maintenance. The introduction of 5G has now created new standards in terms of availability, network coverage, and latency, opening an opportunity to gradually replacing existing Smart-Ex® 02 inventory with the intrinsically safe Smart-Ex® 03 5G smartphone from Pepperl+Fuchs.

With the intrinsically safe Smart-Ex® 03, Pepperl+Fuchs presents its first 5G- and Wi-Fi 6-capable smartphone. For flexible use in public and private networks, companies and mobile workers now have a smartphone that enables and optimizes all digital application scenarios, even in harsh environments.
Cepsa has been relying on the expertise of Pepperl+Fuchs and its subsidiary brand ECOM Instruments for years. More than 1,100 Smart-Ex® 02 smartphones are currently used for communication between mobile workers. In addition, the company uses more than 300 Tab-Ex® 03 tablets, which employees use to document maintenance tasks, create and check checklists, or conduct video conferences. The company is therefore taking an important step towards digitalization.

The use of 5G has several benefits for the Spanish energy company. The company has deployed two private mobile networks in its energy parks.
These technologies serve as use case enablers, making Cepsa a pioneer of this type of technology in the energy sector.

Fast, Secure, and Prioritized: The Advantages of Campus Networks

The 5G mobile communications standard offers industry a decisive advantage in the form of campus networks. These private 5G networks are made available to companies in cooperation with the network operator of their choice or set up individually for them. As a result, these networks are protected against unauthorized access from outside and at the same time guarantee the availability of bandwidth.

5G also enables network slicing. The available bandwidth of the network is divided into different channels, known as slices, which in turn can be prioritized. For example, the company defines a slice for critical communication and ensures that the bandwidth is always available in an emergency.

In addition, 5G scores with extremely low latency times, which makes push-to-talk applications even more effective since Push-to-Talk over Cellular (PoC) is an important part of communication within Cepsa, which is available securely and uninterrupted with the Smart-Ex® 03 from Pepperl+Fuchs. In contrast to analog means of communication, the connection runs via the mobile network. With 5G, communication is therefore even more efficient, faster, and without delay.

The Smart-Ex® 03 is the only intrinsically safe smartphone on the market that can be unlocked or the use of apps authenticated by fingerprint.
 

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