Today’s smart manufacturing sector is undergoing a digital transformation addressing the challenge of reducing manual processes and increasing efficiency. 5G is foreseen as a key enabler for the Industry 4.0 manufacturing ecosystem, and the 5G-SMART initiative launched by the European Union will demonstrate, validate and evaluate the potential of 5G in real manufacturing environments.
At three different trial sites, 5G-SMART will test most advanced 5G integrated manufacturing applications such as digital twins, industrial robotics and machine vision based remote operations. The trial sites are: An Ericsson factory in Kista (Sweden), a Fraunhofer IPT shop floor in Aachen (Germany) and a Bosch semiconductor factory in Reutlingen (Germany).
Marposs contributed its expertise in machine and process monitoring to the project facilities, and designed and built the equipment for the first real 5G trials in manufacturing at the Fraunhofer IPT premises. In a research collaboration effort with the cellular devices provider U-blox, an industry-first 5G enabled multi-sensor platform was tested and Marposs Monitoring Solutions showcased a Virtual GEM processing platform deployed in a Factory Cloud.
Marposs also leveraged its industry knowledge of the manufacturing ecosystem in the evaluation of new business models with information and communications technology leaders such as Orange (France) and T-Systems (Hungary). The potential for factory owners, operational technology suppliers and mobile network operators was clearly defined.
During the project and the trials, 5G-SMART went beyond and explored new 5G features targeting the needs of the smart factory, like the integration of 5G with time-sensitive networking and critical cloud platforms, enabling flexible software development while providing low latency and high reliability.