The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), using smart technologies, has transformed sectors such as manufacturing, logistics, agriculture, and healthcare, with automation, real-time monitoring, and data analysis central to this. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and other technological advancements have contributed to the growing success of Industry 4.0, however traditional connectivity solutions such as wired connections and Wi-Fi are no longer capable of offering the secure, reliable, and scalable connection required.
In this article, we discuss which connectivity solution can meet the growing requirements and complexity of Industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0 has created smart cities, smart factories, and autonomous manufacturing facilities. Further developed during the COVID-19 global pandemic, as the world became even more reliant on technology, it has revolutionised manufacturing and distribution processes for many enterprises. Modern innovations such cloud computing, machine learning, robotics, and automation have reduced the cost and time of production, with data being leveraged for smarter decision-making.
While industry 4.0 can use smart technologies to improve the supply chain in enterprise operations, it does not stop there. It can connect with back-end systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), allowing businesses to control and oversee all activities. A great example of this is to use predictive maintenance to decrease machine downtime and improve health and safety for employees.
Benefits of Industry 4.0
- Increase in operational efficiency
- 42% of Industry 4.0 users have seen an improvement in product quality
- Competitive advantage, due to improved product and services
- Lower operating costs and reduced downtime thanks to predictive maintenance, real-time monitoring, and quality control
Although the implementation of Industry 4.0 is helping businesses become more responsive and flexible, the required array of wireless sensors, software, analytics among other advanced technologies require a reliable, robust, and stable network. Industry 4.0’s demand for more than a standard Wi-Fi connection is highlighting the importance of companies investing in secure networks that can support the many thousands of interconnected devices and users. Worldwide investment in 5G has presented a viable connectivity solution to fully realise the benefits of Industry 4.0, in the form of Private 5G Networks.
Private 5G & LTE
Private 5G Networks are local area networks that leverage 5G technology to create a fully private, dedicated network. In the UK, private organisations can apply to Ofcom for use of the shared spectrum to create their own, dedicated Mobile Private Network.
While providing a private wireless network spanning over 25,000 square feet (indoors) per each small cell used, it offers the same coverage as around 10 to 20 Wi-Fi access points. With a latency of just eight milliseconds, real-time communications can take place, this, and the high speeds (peaking at 10Gbps) offered, provides a more than competent solution for the number and density of devices within Industry 4.0.
The advantages of Private 5G include:
Wireless setup: a major advantage to private 5G networks is that deployments are virtually wireless. This eliminates the need for network cables, making installation and maintenance much easier, and much more cost-effective.
Network slicing: one of the main benefits of using a private 5G network is that it can be sliced into different virtual networks. This allows prioritisation for different uses/users e.g. mission-critical processes where a constant high-speed connection is required.
Bandwidth & Latency: 5G’s greater bandwidth allows the simultaneous transfer of huge amounts of data and has much lower latency than other wireless technologies. This makes private 5G networks the perfect solution for IoT / M2M operations that require constant, real time communication.
Security: as the network is private, unlike other connectivity solutions data is stored locally and never leaves the network. Security policies are also defined by the network owner, giving organisations complete control of data flow. This greatly reduces the risk of cyberattacks, making private 5G networks the perfect solution for organisations that hold sensitive information e.g. healthcare, finance, government, and emergency services.
You can learn more about Private 5G, including use cases, here.
To find out how Boost Pro Systems can help with your connectivity requirements, contact our team on 0330 1244 805, or fill in our enquiry form.