Unlocking next-gen manufacturing with 5G
October 10, 2019 | 5G
As 5G rollouts are beginning gradually across the world, it is becoming major headlines everywhere, with the immense potential it holds, and what it promises to do. However, as much of a commercial potential 5G holds, it also has the power to transform things significantly on the industrial front.
As industries increasingly embrace digital transformation, connected devices are entering the industrial environments, such as, robotics, machines, equipment, workstations, tools, etc. If these connected devices and technological advancements are to help industries gain a competitive advantage in the market, they need to operate seamless in the complex environments they exist in. A major challenge for this to happen is posed by the current bottlenecks encountered in networks, connectivity, reliability and latency. With many manufacturers using fixed-line networks, they encounter multiple physical challenges in network deployments, while also inhibiting flexibility and agility in operations.
5G and wireless technology could smoothen out these challenges for manufacturers everywhere. 5G would improve bandwidth reliability and resiliency in industrial systems, promising to hit service performance reliability expectations 99.99% of the time. 5G’s low latency and improved throughput would help expand a variety of workloads and enable countless new applications. Combine this with the advancements taking place in the field of network slicing, and there would be so many new ways of delivering applications for numerous use cases. Innovations with 5G would be further enhanced with IoT and other supporting technologies, and increase their value for industries.
IoT as IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) is improving efficiency and productivity of industrial operations for quite some time now. Better network reliability of IoT data exchanges between production lines, machines and workers would boost many manufacturing KPI, such as, operational equipment effectiveness, production volumes, etc. 5G would not only improve the network reliability but also provide for more foolproof, scalable and quickly usable IoT data of an asset, empowering manufacturing facilities to reduce downtime, improve performance, and communicate prudent system information to other equipment. For instance, a hydraulic pump could inform a motor further along the assembly line of its real-time performance in just a fraction of a second, and also communicate about how it affects the speed of the production line, as well as production volume.
5G would also ease out the worries of manufacturers who would be concerned about unreliable network and connectivity affecting the mission-critical systems in production if plugged into IoT mode.
When 5G is coupled with network slicing and implemented in a manufacturing environment, it enables a wide range of IoT functionality – from edge computing to cloud computing and more. 5G opens up bandwidth for complex indispensable applications, while also meeting the requirements of data feeds like IoT and artificial intelligence that have real-time operations. Based on their needs, manufacturers can choose to prioritize different latency-sensitive mission-critical systems, while being able to run the less critical applications on a different spectrum.
5G also enables scaling down of the cloud computing functionalities all the way to the shop-floor. When the on-premises mission-critical systems have reliable and seamless connectivity, manufacturers can choose to run workloads on the cloud. They even get the choice whether or not to run the entire PLC’s functionality virtually on the cloud or only delegate some bi-directional management and analytics off-site. These deployments and developments could have a significant impact on the CAPEX.
Industries today are not just limited to their manufacturing facilities but extend way beyond into the real world closer to their assets and customers. An unreliable network and connectivity poses serious issues hen functioning across dispersed geographies, becoming an inhibiting factor for adoption of innovative technologies that need uninterrupted and reliable connections and networks. 5G could even out this challenge by empowering remote workers and opening up bandwidths for a lot more complex computer vision workloads, like the usage of Augmented Reality (AR). For instance, a service technician simply puts on a headset to use artificial intelligence powered object recognition to identify the different parts of huge complex equipment, or deploy Internet of Things to understand any issues being faced on the shop floor and resolve it remotely by sending an OTA software update or reboot the specific system entirely. Maximizing the 5G bandwidth at the edge could have a significant impact on the life of an asset by optimizing the battery usage.
As industries go further in their efforts to embrace digital transformation, they look to technology for better insights that would enable them to make better, more informed strategic decisions. As part of this, 5G could become the ‘information highway’ which could make 5G increasingly useful throughout the complete value chain of any industry. Doing this could generate countless next-gen use cases across industries and applications. If the IoT data gets democratized through widespread accessibility, it could become a resource worth leveraging to create futuristic use cases and add incremental value to processes and operations, like, computer vision in artificial intelligence and augmented reality. IoT would be the backbone for 5G, giving it valuable data sources from billions of connected devices everywhere. In turn, 5G would help IoT become increasingly reliable and timely in delivering results that actually matter.
Owing to the huge potential that 5G holds, there is a very huge demand of skilled professionals who are well-versed in working with 5G and developing solutions and innovations for it. Undergoing a carefully crafted training program from a reputed organization could make you immensely valuable for your organization and open up doors of opportunities for you that you had never before imagined. Cognixia, world’s leading digital workforce solutions company, bring a one-of-its-kind 5G-RAN training and certification program which covers all the important concepts and fundamentals which would help you become a master of this amazing technology that promises to be the heart of Industry 4.0. It covers topics such as key 5G technology standards and applications, 5G RAN architecture and protocol stack, 5G RAN implementation aspects along with New Radio, massive MIMO (mMIMO) and beamforming, etc. along with numerous practical hands-on exercises and elements that would help you gain a thorough understanding of all the concepts revolving around 5G.