Dedicated cellular connectivity through 5G — foundation for Industry 4.0?

The woodworking industry is ramping up for Industry 4.0 as never before.  The need for speed, along with connectivity, was increasingly apparent at the recent Ligna Hannover Fair in Germany, the global mega show for the woodworking industry.  All of the major machinery suppliers from Europe exhibited the latest in autonomous cells, smart manufacturing, and robots of every size imaginable performing a myriad of tasks.

While at HxGNLIVE 2019, I sat fascinated by the presentation from Norbert Hanke of Hexagon, whose keynote was titled, “Smart is Hiding in Plain Sight.”  In a nutshell, Hanke said smart is hiding in the data that goes unused, such as machine data.  An important aspect of data mining is in the transmission of the data.

Hanke introduced Erik Josefsson from partner company Ericsson.  Joseffson discussed the exciting future of using dedicated 4G (soon to be 5G) licensed networks in manufacturing.

Current wireless technologies are not up to the task of delivering the speed and reliability needed to run today’s smart, connected factory. Issues with latency and dead spots make running a truly connected factory impossible.

Cables or cabling used in combination with wireless systems can be cumbersome and counterproductive and lack flexibility.

Ericsson has introduced Industry Connect, which it says simplifies industrial digital connectivity.  Ericsson says Industry Connect enables communication service providers to offer dedicated cellular networks at factories and warehouses starting with 4G/LTE, with a clear path to 5G.

A dedicated 4G/5G network based on a licensed spectrum can provide the reliability, device density, scalability and security that current systems struggle to achieve.

This short YouTube video from Ericsson discusses their Industry Connect solution.

Harry Urban

Harry Urban is the publisher of the Woodworking Network. Urban has more than 30 years of experience in business-to-business publishing, trade shows and conferences. He has travelled extensively throughout North America and overseas visiting and reporting on major manufacturing facilities and trade shows.