10th November 2021


  • The SUMOL+COMPAL factory is a pioneer in AR solutions using 5G in an industrial setting
  • The Augmented Reality solution empowers operations and maintenance teams, increasing efficiency and economizing resources
  • NOS’ 5G increases productivity and efficiency in day to day operations, accelerating the competitiveness of the Portuguese business community and the path towards Industry 4.0

Primeira Fábrica 5G em Portugal

The fifth generation of mobile communications is already highlighting its potential to uniquely transform society and the economy in Portugal. NOS, focused on sharing the benefits of the technology with Portuguese citizens and businesses, is already applying the potential of 5G in companies in the country, thus contributing towards the increase in efficiency and competitiveness of their operations and practices.

Putting this vision into practice, NOS and SUMOL+COMPAL today present the First 5G Factory in Portugal. Fully covered with the fifth generation of NOS’ mobile communications since March 2021, the SUMOL+COMPAL factory in Almeirim have had at their disposal since then technologies using 5G with the ability to transform and make the company’s operations more efficient on a scale that until today was impossible.

5G brings with it the capacity to transform industrial processes and make logistics chains more efficient, secure and optimal, thus raising the efficiency and productivity of companies to new levels. In this production unit of SUMOL+COMPAL, which has a surface area of 70,000 m2 and in which around 25 thousand tons of fruit are processed each year, the partner companies are implementing two pioneering approaches, based on 5G. On the one hand, they will link up all the production lines and obtain information in real time of the production process, while on the other they will use augmented reality and apply it to operations involving the preventative maintenance of line machinery used for Tetra Pak filling and packaging.

According to Manuel Ramalho Eanes, Executive Board Director of NOS, “5G is already a reality and its application will be the main driver of what is known as 4.0 Industry, and will be a key element in the competitiveness of Portuguese companies in all sectors in which they do business. The unmatched features of the fifth generation of mobile communications allow us to develop innovative applications and bring important efficiency gains, such as SUMOL+COMPAL is already proving on a daily basis, and will prove even more so in a future that is expected to be even more digital.””

Jaime Alves Cardoso, Board Director of SUMOL+COMPAL, says “SUMOL+COMPAL continues to invest in technology in its operations, in order to respond better and better to the challenges facing us in the market, or in other words, to continue to develop innovative products, increase efficiency and improve response time in our day to day operations. We believe that these are critical factors in building competitiveness in the mass consumption market, and we know that 5G technology is transforming the rules of the game. This project will use 5G technology to impact the working of our production lines at the Almeirim factory by allowing information to be processed in real time and for action to be taken quickly, in particular by detecting and correcting bottlenecks that exist in the filling lines and identifying ways of maximizing their yield. NOS is the ideal partner to implement and test 5G technology, having already demonstrated its experience in other areas of activity and its knowhow in building other digital applications”.

By using NOS Augmented Worker and NOS Remote Support solutions, the maintenance team on the shop floor of the SUMOL+COMPAL factory will increase the efficiency of its processes, making diagnostics of problems easier and reducing machine stoppage time. The solutions will also allow time and resources to be saved relating to the physical travel of suppliers providing technical support.

Both of the solutions at the disposal of the company’s maintenance technicians combine the use of Smart Glasses and a 5G Smartphone as a support to their work. The NOS Augmented Worker solution provides, as a complement to procedural technical manuals, interactive guides using augmented reality, while the NOS Remote Support solution offers specialist remote support via video with augmented reality notes in real time.

The implementation of these solutions will drastically reduce errors and the execution time of processes, in particular making the process of transferring information to maintenance software immediate, and eliminating support in paper format. Another aspect is that it will allow costs relating to the travel of technical support teams and suppliers to be minimized, facilitating the diagnostic process.

This partnership is an integral part of a long term collaboration for the digital transformation of SUMOL+COMPAL, which will involve, in addition to the solutions based on augmented reality, a project of IoT sensorization and the constant monitoring of performance indicators on the production lines. In this way, NOS and SUMOL+COMPAL are positioning themselves at the cutting edge of the evolution of technology, making the very most of the transforming potential of the fifth generation of mobile communications.

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