Factories of the future (also known as Industry 4.0, or Smart Manufacturing) are tightly connected to both IoT and 5G. While the IoT revolution has started on consumer markets, its real deployment will start with the industrial IoT along with 5G.
Indeed, factories of the future will make a huge use of cyber physical systems (CPS) and wireless connectivity to connect the entire manufacturing supply chain; this will be made possible only if the infrastructure is supported by robust wireless telecom infrastructure – thus allowing all “things” to communicate and exchange information.
Safer, flexible and more efficient manufacturing systems will be possible thanks to the ultra-low-latency and reliability of 5G connectivity. Connected sensors deployed throughout the entire production process will enable real time monitoring, data analytics, and coordination of machines thus increasing their automation, flexibility and productivity. Smart manufaturing includes sophisticated data analyitics allowing the production system to modulate itself making smart data-driven decisions based on data collected in real time.
The improvements brought by 5G are primarily targeting the introduction of new generations of connected robots, the interconnection of production sites and the much heavier use of smart sensors to improve industrial processes.
5G, as a key enabler for the Smart Industry, will impact four groups of use cases with different requirement:
Future communication solutions are expected to ensure connectivity between different globally distributed production sites and new actors in the value chain (e.g. suppliers, logistics) seamlessly, in real time and in a secure way. Innovative strategies such as Industry 4.0 (in Germany, but similar initiatives, sharing same objectives, exist in many European countries) and their design principles are gaining more and more acceptance and will influence present and future 5G requirements.
5G will eliminate lag times between machine communications, and data connections between machines will be 10 to 100 times faster. This will allow machines to catch production glitches in real time, which could lead to big increases in productivity. 5G’s ability to handle far more data over its network means that factories can meet rising data demands resulting from adding smart technologies and increasing production. As a consequence, one of the main 5G value in the context of the Smart Industry is in getting data from the physical environment to the computers and making better decisions based on that.
Global5G.org for Factories is here to help: find out more about 5G Factories use cases, navigate relevant standardisation efforts and timelines with our standard tracker, and get the pulse of the new business landscaping with our market watch.
06/18/2018 to 06/21/2018