5G is to significantly change the future of manufacturing through adaptive wireless control of machine tool equipment. Fraunhofer’s IPT collaborates with Ericsson on industrial 5G.
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Germany is renowned for its applied research. Over 70 % of its annual funding stems from contract work from industrial partners and government sponsored projects. Fraunhofer’s “Institute for Production Technology” (IPT) in Aachen is one such hotbed where research meets industry to focus on next-generation manufacturing techniques. 5G is a key technology expected to significantly advance techniques in production lines.
Ericsson hooks up with Fraunhofer’s IPT
IPT brings together contracting companies specialized in mechanical engineering, toolmaking, and optics from various industry segments such as aerospace, automotive, and life sciences with the remit to research and develop cutting-edge production technology. Ericsson is a further collaboration partner who will plug 5G into the Fraunhofer IPT equation. Next to supporting extremely high wireless data speeds, 5G’s ultra-low latency enables wireless connectivity in industrial environments. Many production processes on highly-automated factory floors require response times in the millisecond range. Going wireless to control manufacturing machines heralds in a new era which slashes cabling demands and enables the insertion of sensors at points in the process not feasible before.
Real-time response with 5G
5G opens the door to wireless connectivity on the factory floor by confining latencies in the low millisecond range. Sensors located almost anywhere in production equipment can stream their data wirelessly for real-time analysis and subsequent adaptive manufacturing control. This approach allows producing high-precision products in small lots in a flexible and cost-efficient manner.
Fraunhofer IPT and Ericsson plan to demo initial examples of their collaboration at this year’s Hannover trade show from the 23 – 27 April 2018.