Industrial Electronics

Pair of industry 4.0 5G deals made by Ericsson and AT&T

08 July 2020
A robot operates inside a Grundfos manufacturing plant in Denmark that will soon be equipped with a 5G network. Source: Ericsson

A pair of 5G deals have been made to explore the use of 5G technology with Industry 4.0.

Ericsson has signed an agreement with Danish water solutions provider Grundfos to explore how a dedicated 5G network could improve production at one of the company’s factories.

Under the proof of concept, Ericsson working alongside TDC Net will deploy 5G technology at Grundfos’ Bjerringbro, Denmark, plant, replacing wired connections with a dedicated wireless network.

The smart wireless connectivity will include automation productivity, scalability and efficiency gains in its pump and water solutions business. The 5G network would also see latency improvements and automation capabilities of applications such as automated guided vehicles (AGV) over 5G.

The joint Innovation Hub with TDC aims to broaden the ecosystem of partnerships among Danish industries, business and research for pilot projects. Ericsson will supply a 5G radio access network (RAN) and a dual mode 5G core (5GC) for the network.

TDC Net said that the industrial 5G network will be the first in Denmark and will be essential for Industry 4.0 with smart and digital technologies helping to replace production methods.

Meanwhile, Accenture and AT&T are working together to develop an industrial cellular wireless connectivity center that will include support for the industrial internet of things (IIoT) and low latency applications in factories.

The companies are working with Phillips 66 to address performance gaps with the existing public cellular network near a refinery in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. The private cellular network was selected as a pilot project to demonstrate the ability of 5G to handle needs from ongoing Philips 66 digital transformation initiatives.

AT&T was selected as the telecom to develop the engineering for a dedicated cellular network solution using multi-access edge compute across the license spectrum.

During a test of the cellular infrastructure at the site, teams made speed improvements at the refinery. Likewise, cellular reference signals showed the potential for improvement in signal strength at selected process units.

The companies said several technical hurdles still need to be ironed out before the 5G option can be made available for scale deployments while meeting operational requirements at the factory.

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