As everything from our day-to-day activities to manufacturing to consumption has entered the digital age, intelligently automated yet interconnected industrial production--also known as Industry 4.0 and smart factory--is gaining ground. However, given the gravity of this evolution, innovation is key to successfully bringing automation across sectors. In automation and interconnectivity, high-speed wireless communication plays a significant role, as it acts like a bridge between seamless yet scalable connectivity and machines, sensors, and users. It also connects the Internet of Things (IoT), robots, drones, and automated guided vehicles (AGVs). Another benefit comes in the form of eliminating cables from devices with limited mobility.
To further explore the intersection of 5G and manufacturing, register for the 5G Manufacturing Forum. Global manufactuers are starting to adopt 5G to improve manufacturing processes. Low latency and high reliability are needed to support critical applications in the manufacturing field. Several top manufacturers are already taking advantage of 5G implementation to improve operations in different industrial environments. Here we briefly describe some implementations by large manufacturers globally.
Proponents make the case for 4.9G wireless technology as a stepping stone to 5G to empower new Industry 4.0 applications, from cobots to augmented reality-enabled predictive maintenance. Yet with 5G standardization still on-going and industrial use case roll outs only in early pilot stages, experts say manufacturers shouldn't stand still waiting for 5G technologies and compatible products to coalesce into a full-scale ecosystem. Rather, they advise manufacturers to move forward with mapping out new wireless communications strategies, use cases, and roll out plans built around the latest variation of 4.9G/LTE technology, which they claim can deliver for many of these new industrial applications while providing the most direct route to full 5G implementation. "For 5G to be feasible for manufacturers and other industry segments, you are looking at a good five years plus," says Stephane Daeuble, head of marketing for enterprise solutions at Nokia, which sells private wireless networks to the manufacturing sector. "The 4.9G/LTE solution that exists today, when deployed as a private network, tackles 85% of what's required for industrial applications."
Ran Poliakine is Chairman and CEO of Nanox, and Co-founder of MusashiAI, a joint venture with auto-parts manufacturer Musashi Seimitsu. The most memorable coverage of the 5G cellular network surrounded conspiracy theories about Covid-19. Some claimed the network was designed to weaken our immune systems, while others thought it directly transmits the virus. Reasonable minds -- the vast majority of the human population, one would hope -- understood the conspiracies for what they were. They knew 5G was simply the next upgrade to our cellular network.
The next generation of wireless technology could affect a wide range of industries, from healthcare to financial services to retail. The technology enables faster data transfer speeds -- up to 10x faster than the speeds achievable with older standards -- lower latency, and greater network capacity. As a result, 5G creates a tremendous opportunity for numerous industries, but also sets the stage for large-scale disruption. Download the free report to understand what 5G is, the industries it's disrupting, and the drivers paving the way for its implementation. As of June 2021, commercial 5G services have already been deployed across more than 1,500 cities in 60 countries worldwide, according to Viavi Solutions. The number of IoT devices -- which will rely on 5G to transmit vast amounts of data in real time -- is projected to grow from 12B in 2020 to 30B in 2025, per IoT Analytics, more than 4 devices for every person on Earth. Executives across industries are already jostling to take advantage of 5G tech -- and avoid being disrupted by it. Earnings call mentions of 5G have soared in recent years. From enabling remote robotic surgery and autonomous cars to improving crop management, 5G is poised to transform many of the world's biggest industries. The impact of 5G on manufacturing could be huge. It's estimated that improved connectivity through 5G will create $13T in global economic value across industries by 2035, according to IHS Markit. A third of that total is projected to come from the manufacturing sector alone. This would enable manufacturers to build "smart factories" that rely on automation, augmented reality, and IoT. And with 5G powering large amounts of IoT devices and sensors around the factory, artificial intelligence can be integrated more deeply with operations. On fast-paced assembly lines, even microseconds of latency can cause costly disruptions for the manufacturer.