The digital transformation infrastructure is being built now and it will enable various industries to become smart, to become connected in ways that were not possible before. In fact, we are already experiencing dramatic growth in terms of the Internet of Things or device connections that will far outnumber the number of telephone connections”.
Mr. Chaisatien sees a lot of changes in the manufacturing industry which will be fostered by 5G and other supported technologies: “With 5G we are seeing more use cases that involve drones or autonomous vehicles, both within the factory floor, but also out in the field. The rise of virtual reality and augmented reality will then provide a further boost to the industrial and manufacturing sector. Not only in terms of predictive maintenance, but it will also be seen in the rise of the product as service, the delivery models in the future are going to be able to interact with customers and users”.
One of the biggest challenges for manufacturing companies is organizational silos and the lack of end-to-end visibility of the whole process – products as they are being produced, and later distributed and utilized in the field. 5G can indeed connect the dots, and help the companies:
“Non-connected products of today can become smart and connected products. Choosing the right connectivity technology is really, I’d say the decision number one that they have to make. We truly believe that if you would like end-to-end uninterrupted connectivity and intelligence or data from your connected device throughout its lifecycle there’s really only one technology around the world that can do this job so well and that is cellular technology because it is ubiquitous. Everywhere we go in the world we are covered by a cellular network and that’s fantastic”.
5G has great indoor and outdoor coverage and both of these are key for industrial companies. Additionally, it doesn’t matter in which country the machinery is, “the companies can distribute them to be used and deployed in another part of the world”, Mr. Chaisatien notes: “Cellular technology is the unmatched foundation for enterprise digital transformation that enables seamless connectivity throughout supply chains”.
By working on the factory transformation, Ericsson and Mercedes-Benz have teamed to build the world’s first 5G mobile network for the automotive manufacturing sector. A global manufacturer Mercedes-Benz wanted to unwire its operations in one of their factories in Germany. The management required highly reliable systems and wanted to replace the assembly line with automated driverless systems, self-guiding and self-moving robots, connected by a 5G private network.
“The results that they have received so far are very high efficiency and flexibility, but also an optimized production line. This is a very good case study to look into during this time of the global crisis. I have heard so many times in the news that the manufacturing plants around the world are turning themselves to produce masks and adding medical equipment. Now, for them to do that they need a factory that is highly flexible and suitable for them to change their production plan and layout and the whole process”, Mr. Warren Chaisatien concludes.
|The Mercedes-Benz 5G Factory Case
— Mercedes-Benz needed a flexible and high performance, connected infrastructure.
— Needed to replace the assembly line with automated driverless systems
— Needed to improve efficiency and flexibility on production lines
— World’s first 5G mobile network for automobile production
— Ericsson’s Private Network solution with 5G radio dots for high performance indoors to cover all 220,000 square meters
— Optimized assembly line product tracking
— Higher efficiency, flexibility, and production precision
— Expanded individual assembly units without interferences