5G teleommunications technology is a game-changer for manufacturers. According to the consulting firm STL Partners, the benefits of 5G to the global manufacturing industry could amount to $740 billion by 2030. Manufacturers will use 5G connectivity to leverage technologies such as automation, AI/ML, Internet of Things (IoT), AR/VR, and robotics, enabling them to move toward the “Factory of the Future.” It’s clear 5G connectivity will be essential in their transformation to “smart manufacturing.” But where can manufacturers begin?
Unique 5G Benefits for Manufacturing
Manufacturers typically use wired or wireless technologies (Wi-Fi and cellular) for their operations, but reliability and scalability are substantial concerns. The power of 5G technology can play a crucial role across entire manufacturing value chain, delivering three key advantages:
For manufacturers, these 5G advantages can improve efficiency, productivity, and financial performance throughout their end-to-end operations.
5G & Manufacturing Sustainability
5G can also play a significant role when it comes to sustainability. The manufacturing sector is a big consumer of non-renewable energy and natural resources. By enabling enhanced interconnection of production lines, robots, and machinery for smart and digital factories, “Green 5G” can lower energy costs and improve production sustainability:
5G Cases for Manufacturing
Key 5G features – enhanced mobile broad band (eMBB), ultra-reliable low latency communication (uRLLC), and massive machine type communications (mMTC) – support multiple manufacturing use cases across three broad categories:
1. Information Technology
2. Operational Technology
5G & Industry 4.0
Automation and information technology were essential to powering previous industrial revolutions, and this will be case as Industry 4.0 revolutionizes manufacturing with autonomous systems using computer vision, data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
The key 5G use cases for Industry 4.0 include:
5G Benefits for Smart Manufacturing
5G technology will also enable the “smart manufacturing” enterprises of the future and deliver multiple benefits to those who adopt it:
5G & IOT Convergence
The maturity of 5G and IoT and their convergence can transform manufacturing sector. In today’s extended manufacturing enterprise, data does not flow linearly, but moves back and forth through a multidimensional ecosystem, enabling manufacturers to respond quickly to potential breakdowns. IoT devices produce massive amounts of data, enabling predictive analytics that lead preventive measures and the resolution of anomalies occurring in the manufacturing process. 5G technology enables manufacturers to really put IoT data to work, and these converged technologies can generate huge benefits in the long run.
For example, workers equipped with AR/VR headsets will be free to move anywhere on the factory floor and stay connected to the private 5G network. While they are interacting with IoT devices, they will be able to detect potential errors through simulations. 5G’s network slicing feature will also support such enterprise use cases simultaneously. This convergence provides a network platform for the customers and vendors to integrate 5G and IoT easily and securely.
Wipro helps manufacturing organizations drive enterprise and business transformation, while fostering ROI. Our expertise in the digital domain – across industrial process manufacturing, automotive and aerospace, and defence – helps customers transform processes, product design, supply chain, and aftermarket services to achieve digital transformation of manufacturing processes.
The convergence of IoT and 5G will enhance resilience and agility. These combined technologies can be leveraged to help enterprises realize their vision of Industry 4.0 and establish enhanced productivity, customer satisfaction and increased ROI.
Associate Consultant, EDGE
Ruchira is a part of the 5G Industry solutions team. Her primary responsibilities include advisory and consulting on 5G and EDGE portfolio for manufacturing, automotive, real-estate, smart cities and healthcare sectors globally.
Associate Consultant, Private 5G Networks
Aayush holds experience in telecom domain and has worked with a leading global manufacturer of telecom and broadband equipment for mobile operators. His current responsibilities involve advisory and consulting on private 5G networks for energy and utilities, oil and gas, mines, travel, hospitality, and the public sector.