McKinsey and Company: five ways 5G can change manufacturing
As global trends continue to drive the digitalisation of processes and operations, we take a look at the five ways 5G can change the manufacturing industry.
The development of 5G connectivity, which is said to be 25 times faster than 4G networks, with lagging reduced to almost zero, is predicted to provide endless opportunities to drive digitalisation and connectivity along the entire value chain for factories.
McKinsey and Company, details the five applications that deserve attention in order to boost factory productivity with the help of 5G:
Cloud control of machines
For many years, automation within factories relies on the physical installation of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) on the technology they control, which is then hard-wired into computer networks.
With the predicted 5G capabilities, manufacturers could make their PLCs virtual and take them into the cloud. As a result machines can be wirelessly controlled in real-time at a reduced cost.
With the industry often required to perform complex maintenance and control tasks which are guided by standard operating procedures (SOPs) which come in the form of paper manuals, video and augmented reality.
With 5G, organisations can improve their streaming capabilities of these resources, this could provide the capability for workers to undertake advanced tasks without needing to wait for a specialist. As a result this will reduce downtime and cost.
Perceptive artificially intelligent eyes
Cameras - a common technology within a factory for progress monitoring and security, however currently their use is limited.
5G will allow real-time streaming of data that can be hosted within the cloud, as well as provide live video analytics.
High speed decisions
To drive the best operations within a factory, manufacturers rely on vast data pools to make operational decisions.
With the adoption of 5G, factories can significantly speed up the decision making time. The improved connectivity will allow large amounts of data to be ingested, processed and actioned in near real time.
Internet of things (IoT)
As factories produce more and more data WiFi networks can get quickly congested, 5G connectivity can support high connection density with tens of thousands of endpoints. As a result factories can use industrial data at scale.
For more information on manufacturing topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Manufacturing Global.
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.