5G is Here: New Horizons for Industrial Automation

December 07, 2020

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The next generation of wireless connectivity, 5G, brings the concept of wireless industrial automation one step closer to reality.

The next generation of wireless connectivity, 5G, brings the concept of wireless industrial automation one step closer to reality. In the near future, the new network will enable more commercial opportunities than ever, making the Internet-of-Things (IoT) prevalent across the industrial automation and manufacturing sector. 5G is already here, replacing wired connections in even the most demanding application. According to research conducted by McKinsey at the beginning of 2020, Industry 4.0 will account for about 22 million 5G IoT units in 2030, with most manufacturing applications.

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth-generation mobile network that has started deploying worldwide in 2019. 5G is a new global wireless standard of mobile wireless networks after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G. With 5G technology, a new kind of network will virtually connect people, objects, machines, and devices. The new technology has the potential to support millions of devices at ultrafast speeds and has the potential to take industrial automation and smart manufacturing to a new level. Access to 5G technology brings opportunities for mission-critical industrial enterprise operations that affect safety and security.

Differences Between 3G/ 4G/ 5G Networks

All previous generations of mobile networks contributed to the development of 5G, which delivers 100 times faster speed than LTE, ultra-low latency, reliability, massive connections, and energy efficiency, all contributing to better user experience. It offers higher performance and improved efficiency to empower new user experiences and connect new industries. Compared to 4G, 5G can support all spectrum types, bands, and a wide range of deployment models. This opens new ways to interconnect, such as device-to-device and multi-hop mesh. Not to mention that with speed tops out at 10 Gbps, 5G is much faster than all the previous generations. That is 10 to 50 times more than 4G LTE.

What Does 5G Mean for Manufacturing Companies and Industrial Automation

Each new generation of wireless networks came with a new set of usages. Manufacturing companies and industrial automation can benefit the most from 5G wireless technology and establish more efficient and flexible production processes. The new technology provides lean and low-cost connectivity solutions that connects sensors by leveraging the ability to scale down in data rates, power, and mobility. Some of the use cases include autonomous systems in factories, smart cities, smart energy, connected offices and buildings, security and emergency services, connected health.

  • AI in time-critical processes — 5G can significantly increase efficiency and safety in real-time robotics control, motion control, machine-human interactions, onboard 4K video streaming, 3D navigation, and AR/ VR maintenance and training.
  • Connected factory — Improve digitization in the factory at every level from the production floor to the management office, and benefit from faster data transmission to optimize production facility management by tracking assets in real-time — inventories, receiving sensor data, remote inspection, and diagnostics.
  • Logistics — Improve logistics and warehouse operations, offer faster than ever field workers and back-office communications, and track goods post-production.
  • Safety systems — Brings reliability and resiliency for safety in the factory that allows for real-time alarms and notifications.

5G features industrial-grade performance, including high reliability, low latency, and good coverage. With all the advantages that 5G has, it can genuinely revolutionize many industrial sectors and build smarter factories. Therefore manufacturing companies should consider making private networks to support their efforts, so they do not depend on telecommunications operators. Now it is time to chase an opportunity and capitalize on the emerging technology. Choose Winmate as your solution partner and start developing future-proof industrial automation systems.

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