Manufacturing in a 5G World

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With the evolution of Industry 4.0, the capabilities and possibilities within the manufacturing industry are rapidly expanding. New sensors, machines, and IoT devices are enhancing the advancements in manufacturing but are also placing strain on the current connectivity infrastructure.

For manufacturers to maintain their competitive advantage through automation of machines and warehouse operations, improvements need to be made to the capacity of current connectivity solutions.

Continue reading this article for an insight into the potential of 5G within the manufacturing industry.

Manufacturing and Industry 4.0

Manufacturing is, most often, a linear process. This has traditionally resulted in long lead times, contributed to the high risk of machines breaking down, and the resulting product waste has no doubt increased the overall cost of operations.

Unplanned downtime and performance can also lead to reduced quality of outputs. The pandemic brought this concern to the forefront of many industries, resulting in the implementation of more flexible processes and technology.

Smart factories, known as the “factories of the future”, will be required to work more effectively and efficiently in order to provide higher output that is both cost-saving and sustainable. By implementing the technologies associated with Industry 4.0, the manufacturing process will become more resilient, controlled, and much less risky. An example of this includes the implementation of IoT devices such as sensors that can transmit performance data to an AI interface. Sensors can monitor and measure operations and parameters identifying signs such as temperature, humidity, audio, and vibrations which can be responded to through AI. This technological advancement allows operations to continue without interruptions, reducing the reliance on engineers while increasing the sustainability of processes.

The real-time monitoring of machine performance, leveraging predictive maintenance, also reduces unplanned downtime and outages on production lines. Often in manual processes, mistakes and problems are identified latterly in the production line resulting in the waste of products that do not meet the required standards. The reduced manual intervention also creates a much safer working environment for all employees.

However, as pivotal as this technology is for the future of manufacturing, in many cases current digital and connectivity infrastructure does not have the capacity to connect the masses of devices required.  Thankfully, with the introduction of 5G, there is finally a technology capable of meeting such demand.

Private 5G as a solution

5G offers a future-proofed solution that facilitates the implementation of advancements such as predictive maintenance, IoT devices, and AI. 5G’s promise of high-capacity, low-latency, high-speed and enhanced security makes it ideal for manufacturers looking to implement the technological advancements discussed above. Through intelligent network slicing, a Private 5G Network can connect thousands of devices, offering each and every one the same reliable and secure connection, without the costly and time-consuming wired backhaul.

5G not only has the capabilities to improve current manufacturing processes, but it will also act as a catalyst for transformation in the manufacturing industry going forward. From improving the way machinery works to optimising the production process to improve operations, it goes without saying that 5G-enabled machinery will prove indispensable to the industry – manufacturers will be able to optimise maintenance routines in real-time, extending the lifespan of their equipment and avoiding unnecessary disruption for their business.

Advantages of a Private 5G Solution

Speed5G networks can peak at a rate that is about 20 times higher than that of 4G networks, with even higher throughput possible in the future
Latency5G networks can send roundtrip data in less than 10ms, a number that may drop to under 5ms in the future
Capacity5G networks can capture data from hundreds of thousands of sensors per square mile
Reliability5G networks can reach up to 99.999% reliability, making them an excellent option for mission-critical applications
Handoff5G networks can seamlessly hand off data to each other even when devices are traveling at hundreds of miles per hour, ensuring a robust connection for high-speed applications
EfficiencyRemote sensor devices applications connected via 5G low power can operate for nearly a decade on battery power

Table created from Manufacturing Institute –

Find out more

To discuss the deployment of a Private 5G Network for your organisation, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.

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