May 16, 2020

Ericsson: driving smarter manufacturing with connectivity

Technology
Smart Manufacturing
Georgia Wilson
3 min
Network connectivity
With manufacturers racing to adopt industry 4.0 technology in an effort to gain a competitive advantage, we take a look at the benefits of a connected f...

With manufacturers racing to adopt industry 4.0 technology in an effort to gain a competitive advantage, we take a look at the benefits of a connected factory

As the world continues to technologically advance in the wake of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), manufacturers are realising that "connectivity is the thread holding their operations together" amidst their digital transformation.

Ericsson notes that “connectivity has often been a second thought to manufacturers. When the network served fewer devices, manufacturers were satisfied as long as the available communications technology worked—or as long as they could work around the weaknesses. That’s no longer true.”

As the adoption of smarter connected factories continues to rise, so do the new and complex requirements. “As the number of remote-control and autonomous robots and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) on the factory floor increase, they will depend more and more on low latency and high device synchronicity,” says Ericsson.

With customers expecting a great variety of products in a short period of time, the industry requires ever-short market windows for products that have a level of personalisation like never before.

As a result manufacturing is evolving to deliver efficient line changes and optimised workflows for production operations, as installing or moving cables is expensive and time-consuming and a barrier to creating an agile factory.”

Ericsson also highlights that device density is an important consideration. “The number of devices per square foot or meter in the connected factory environment is multiplying exponentially,” comments Ericsson. The industry is transitioning from the proof of concept stay into real world application with dozens of workers using connected devices all at once. Therefore the network needs to be able to handle this surge of demand without hesitation, latency or bottlenecks.

The key to smart manufacturing

Wireless connectivity - this network capability enables mobility for connected devices, agility in operations and an increasing level of device density. Wireless allows manufacturers to connect widespread assets and processes in real time, allowing integration with contributing workflows. “Compared to a fixed network, the scope and ease of wireless contributes to new connections and services that can increase value, limit waste and address more pain points,” says Ericsson.

The foundations for a smarter factory

“To appreciate the role of connectivity in the smart factory, it helps to understand the evolving nature of IoT in the industrial setting,” explains Ericsson, the form different types of connectivity include: Massive IoT, Broadband IoT, Critical IoT and Industrial Automation IoT.

 the four types of connectivity and what it is used for.

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Jun 17, 2021

Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router

Siemens
5G
IIoT
Data
3 min
Siemens’ first industrial 5G router, the Scalancer MUM856-1, is now available and will revolutionise the concept of remote control in industry

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). 

Siemens presents its first industrial 5G router.
Siemens presents the Scalance MUM856-1.

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

 

5G Now

“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.

 

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