Engineering employees in Ericsson’s USA 5G Smart Factory in Texas were trained by the power of virtual reality (VR) in the months prior to opening.
The approach enabled Ericsson to staff and open the complex to the target timeline and be operational from day one – without the need for new US factory employees to travel to other Ericsson locations for face-to-face onboarding.
Erik Simonsson, Head of Ericsson’s USA 5G Smart Factory said, “We don’t just talk at Ericsson, we walk the talk and we practice what we preach. That’s why we took this approach.”
Anna Cau, Head of People, Group Supply, Ericsson said, “The challenge lay in how to onboard new colleagues to a factory that had yet to open. We have a 5G-enabled smart factory in Tallinn, Estonia, which has been operational for quite some time. We realized that the most efficient and productive onboarding of our colleagues in the new US facility could be done through virtual collaboration and knowledge sharing with our peers in Tallinn. It was time to put VR-enabled onboarding into action.”
From a classroom in Dallas, Texas, the future USA 5G Smart Factory professionals joined their colleagues 8,000 km away in Estonia.
The initial success of the approach saw virtual onboarding sessions for new employees at the USA 5G Smart Factory being held monthly – enabling Ericsson to meet current customer 5G needs in North America. To date, more than 60 professionals have been onboarded. Plans are in place to develop the collaboration and knowledge sharing through 5G connectivity. VR is also being used for collaboration and knowledge sharing among other Ericsson smart factories.