Ericsson: 5G for Manufacturing
Ericsson is one of the leading providers in Information and Communication Technology to service providers. They utilise the latest state-of-the-art technology and services that are easy to use, adopt and scale to ensure their customers are fully connected always.
Ericsson is at the forefront of 5G technology and have recently achieved its 100th 5G commercial agreement contract with service providers across the globe. Spanning across 5 continents, the contract consists of 58 publicly announced contracts and 56 live 5G networks. The contract includes Radio Access Network (RAN) and Core network developments, enabled by products and solutions from the Ericsson Radio System and Ericsson Cloud Core network portfolios.
Since 2018, swedish service provider Ericsson and luxury automobile manufacturers Audi have been testing the possiblity of 5G technology for application in smart factories, in Audi’s Production Lab. The technology supports factory automation over a wireless network achieving 5G Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication (URLLC).
In January 2020, the partnership successfully tested the 5G URLLC capabilities with real-life automation application at Ericsson’s Factory Lab in Kista, Sweden. The demo showcased a robot similar to those used in Audi’s factories today, but fully optimising 5G technology. The arm robot is capable of building a steering wheel and in the demo video, it shows the highly-precised robot placing and removing the airbag.
The technology is highly reliable and if a factory worker reaches into the robot’s work area, it will be detected and instantly stopped meaning that workers can never be harmed by the robots. This sort of intelligent machine would not be capable of running using traditional Wi-Fi or even previous versions of mobile networks and now these systems can be wireless through the optimisation of 5G.
Manufacturing with 5G technologies opens up a plethora of opportunities to automate and streamline the production of products. 5G provides the exact characteristics essential for manufacturing. Low latency and high reliability are necessary for supporting critical applications. High bandwidth and connection density make for secure connectivity, All of these characteristics make for essential features needed as part of the future of manufacturing.
Manufacturing companies currently rely on wired network connections for these features, however 5G allows for higher frequency, lower cost and shorter lead times for factory layout changes and altercations.
Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age.
Siemens Enables 5G IIoT
The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.
Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance
- Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
- The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
- A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
- Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites
“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.
Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said.
Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future
Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’
And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.
The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.