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07/12/2022|General Article

Trends in production: 5G in the industrial space

The new 5G communications standard promises unprecedented speed in the transmission of data. The performance goes far beyond the current 4G/LTE standard and is no longer oriented only to classic telephony and data services. 5G technology has a clear goal: to create the basis for a comprehensive Internet of Things in which a wide variety of devices, sensors, people and machines communicate with each other.

5G - a new era of development in mobile communications

The abbreviation 5G refers to the 5th generation of mobile communications. In the 5G network, data can be processed at an enormously high speed - significantly faster than with today's 4G/LTE standard. On the technology side, 5G transmits data in the same way as 4G and uses the same frequency ranges at 2GHz. In addition, 5G relies on a new frequency range with shorter waves (3.4 to 3.7GHz). The simple rule applies: The lower the frequency, the greater the range. In higher frequency ranges, on the other hand, larger volumes of data can be transmitted.

In the opinion of many experts, the future belongs to the mobile communications standard 5G. Large bandwidths, low latency, real-time capability, nationwide availability, and high reliability are just some of the advantages offered by the new standard. As a central aspect, for example, 5G technology allows the implementation of individual, virtual networks that are specially adapted to the requirements of users. These are operated under the common 5G infrastructure. In this way, the needs of industrial users can be better addressed in the future.

5G and Industry 4.0: Real-time communication in the factory

The new 5G standard is regarded as an important technology of the future, particularly with regard to the special requirements of Industry 4.0.

Mobile communication among people has been taking place via cellular networks for years. This communication is now visibly expanding to machines and devices. The number of these machines and devices will soon exceed the number of human users.

Existing network technologies would not be able to safely "master" this expected density of users and devices and the resulting flood of data. For business, and especially for industry with its extremely short response times (latency) due to extreme security requirements, the 5G network is therefore a fundamental factor in modern factories. The new 5G standard is therefore regarded as an important technology of the future, particularly with regard to industrial environments and the special requirements of Industry 4.0.

Particular attention is being paid here to the increasingly digital production environments. For industrial companies, the new networks are an important milestone on the way to new factory concepts, the so-called "smart factory". In this context, the technology comprehensively meets the requirements for the necessary real-time communication due to the high bandwidth and network stability.

The 5G network thus enables companies to realize an industrial Internet of Things in which devices, sensors, people and machines can optimally communicate and interact with each other. For example, industrial business models in the area of real-time monitoring and predictive maintenance or IoT platforms, via which machines along industrial production processes exchange data with each other in a fully automated manner, benefit from 5G technology.

A nationwide 5G network that will make this potential available to a large number of companies is currently under construction. However, it is already clear today that the development will be accompanied by new challenges that companies will have to face. Although the technical possibilities of the new 5G mobile communications standard are enormous and allow an optimistic view of the future of the comprehensively digitized factory, tapping into the new potential requires holistic implementation. 

DMG MORI as a pioneer and trailblazer

Coolant nozzles are adjusted so that chip removal produces an ideal result

Industrial digitalization is a key field of innovation for DMG MORI. The technology leader accompanies customers holistically in the digital transformation along the entire value chain. Digital products and versatile automation solutions pave the way for future-proof manufacturing.

In initial pilot projects, DMG MORI is proactively addressing the new possibilities of 5G technology in the age of industrial digitalization. At the plant in Iga as well as at the headquarters in Tokyo, its use is being tested in a test environment. In the experiment, 5G technology is integrated into DMG MORI's new "AI Chip Removal" technology. The solution monitors the position and quantity of chips with cameras mounted in the machine tool.  By automatically calculating the cleaning paths, the chips are optimally removed. A large amount of data is also collected from sensors in real time via the 5G network at two locations. This will enable DMG MORI to record the operating status of the machines even more precisely in the future. The focus is on new and innovative solutions in the machine tool industry environment.