Hiren Kanani

Hiren Kanani

June 20, 2023 8 minutes to read

Promising 5G Technology Use Cases in Manufacturing

Promising 5G Technology Use Cases in Manufacturing

The majority of factories around the world are still utilizing industrial Ethernet and old wireless technology based on Wi-Fi, which has constrained capabilities, and smart production depends on dependable high-speed communication. Industry 4.0 producers, or “smart factories,” will be significantly impacted by 5G in terms of how they manufacture and distribute things.

The Internet of Things, in large part, is to blame for the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Industry 4.0 is distinguished by the optimization of current processes using smart technology, as opposed to other industrial revolutions that were characterized by the introduction of new technology, such as water, steam, and electricity. A crucial element of this revolution is the usage of connected gadgets that collect and communicate large volumes of data in real-time. Data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are used to harness these data, which in turn powers robotics and automation.

What Manufacturing Will Look Like After 5G?

That crucial connectivity is expected to be provided by 5G use cases in manufacturing. The manufacturing sector is keen to test out 5G, even if the current version is simply the first wave and only supports broadband.

While testing of the 5G technology, manufacturers are also looking ahead to how future 5G releases may affect their business. Rel 16 (finished in July 2020), in contrast to Rel 15 (which focuses on broadband), gives priority to ultra-reliable, mission-critical communications, enabling use cases in which real-time communication is crucial. With the help of this breakthrough, businesses might be able to replace existing technologies like Ethernet and implement the IIoT using wireless connectivity that is dependable, extremely fast, and capable of transferring data with no delay.

5G Use Cases in Manufacturing Industry

Here are some 5g manufacturing use cases and some instances of businesses who are now setting the bar high in this segment:

5G Manufacturing Fuels Industrial Automation

Control systems are frequently combined with upcoming technologies like IoT sensors, AI vision cameras, and autonomous robots in industrial metaverse to manage repetitive operations. The adoption of industrial automation will increase and improve thanks to the arrival of 5G technology, which will power the networking capabilities of its numerous components. For instance, the 5G standard’s low-latency wireless connections will make real-time machine monitoring and control easier, providing industry executives with more information and better facility management. For instance, a manufacturing plant might use 5G to link AI vision cameras throughout the production line. Managers may monitor quality control and check items remotely with more efficiency and productivity thanks to the high-speed, wireless connectivity.

With 5G, Industrial Assets May Be Remotely Monitored

The capacity to remotely monitor and manage production assets is another advantage of smart factories. Through software solutions, operators can monitor processes in real-time without physically being on the factory floor. This enables operators to manage assets with ease, obtain actionable insights in real-time, and set up the machines to maximize quality, safety, and efficiency. For Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT), Siemens, for instance, set up its first live remote monitoring system in its Transformers factory in Mexico. The FAT is evidence that the machinery produced by Siemens complies with the terms of the customer’s contract and is prepared for on-site installation. Customers can now do the FAT from their own locations instead of being physically present at the facility, thanks to live monitoring. With the advent of 5G, remote monitoring and live broadcasting will be easier, more precise, more secure, allowing operators to expand their use and address issues as they arise.

5G technology has the potential to address operational challenges in manufacturing industries and improve the efficiency of manufacturing operations. With low latency and high speed, 5G can enable real-time data collection and analysis, providing manufacturers with a more comprehensive view of their operations. This can help to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies, and allow for more informed decision-making.

Management of the Device Life Cycle and Maintenance

5g in manufacturing industry makes sure the equipment is operating properly is crucial at industrial sites and companies. In order to do this, IIoT sensors could be installed on various machines to track the status of the equipment and send out warnings when a fault is found or when the equipment needs routine maintenance. In-plant sensors that keep an eye on crucial machinery will provide plant managers with up-to-the-minute information regarding their status and output as 5G technology is implemented. Cost savings might also result from implementing IoT and 5G, which enable continuous equipment monitoring. For instance, the firm can keep track of the condition of a machine part rather than changing it every six months and only do so when necessary.

Repairs using Augmented Reality

The 5G technology’s reduced latency and dependable connectivity can permit augmented reality board-level debugging. In its manufacturing in Tallinn, Estonia, the Swedish supplier Ericsson has been experimenting with augmented reality (AR) overlays. The business noted that looking up information in paperwork, manuals, and schematics takes up about 50% of the overall time needed for debugging circuit boards. The average defect detection time could be shortened by 15% with AR usage in manufacturing. Additionally, there might be fewer component replacements, which could save energy and result in less chemical use, waste, and scrap.

Manufacturing Using Additives

One of the other 5g use cases in manufacturing is being significantly impacted by additive manufacturing and 3D printing. The management of spare parts is particularly being revolutionized by 3D printing. Many warehouses keep a sizable stock of spare parts for clients who still use older machinery. One-time orders for spare parts make up half of all shipped orders. They can utilize a 3D printer to produce the part on demand and predict the demand for spare parts using predictive analytics. This will cut down on waste and storage expenses for replacement parts.

Automated Guiding Cars

An automated guided vehicle (AGV) is a mobile robot that follows defined long lines or cables on the ground or navigates using radio waves, cameras with built-in vision, magnets, or lasers. AGVs are most frequently employed in industrial settings to move heavy objects inside sizable industrial buildings like factories or warehouses. A fleet of autonomous guided vehicles is operated and maintained by many industrial enterprises, but in order to get the most out of them, businesses will need to digitize the manufacturing environment, connect the vehicles, then gather and combine all that data. These businesses will be able to gather the essential data, provide insights, lessen uncertainty, and support choices when AGV information is connected with all of the company’s systems.

Here, 5G technology has the potential to be essential in creating the framework necessary for AGVs to demonstrate their full potential. In order to improve the performance of AGVs, Hitachi is collaborating with telecommunications companies and technology providers like Verizon and Ericsson that can fully enable private 5G environments to replace Wi-Fi at the edge. These partnerships will increase the density of connected devices, sensors, and machines while also enhancing the latency and throughput of data streams and guaranteeing full coverage in industrial facilities.

Augmented reality (AR) combined with 5G technology has the potential to significantly increase productivity in manufacturing settings. With AR, workers can access information and instructions in real-time, directly through their field of vision. This allows them to complete tasks more efficiently, as they don’t need to refer to physical manuals or blueprints. 5G technology enables AR applications to run smoothly and with low latency, ensuring a seamless and intuitive experience for the user.

Other Miscellaneous Use Cases

With the high data transfer speeds and low latency offered by 5G, manufacturers can leverage real-time video analytics to monitor and analyze production processes, enabling quick decision-making and quality control. Collaborative robotics powered by 5G connectivity can enhance human-robot interactions, leading to improved efficiency and worker safety on the factory floor. By leveraging 5G’s capabilities, manufacturers can optimize their supply chain management, ensuring real-time tracking and traceability of goods, reducing delays and enhancing overall operational efficiency. Troubleshooting using a digital twin, a virtual replica of a physical asset or process, combined with 5G connectivity, enables remote monitoring and diagnosis of equipment, leading to faster issue resolution and minimized downtime. 5G enables manufacturers to explore new business models, such as offering subscription-based services, predictive maintenance, and product-as-a-service, transforming their revenue streams and creating new value propositions in the market.

Way Ahead

The future of 5G technology in the manufacturing industry looks bright, as it has the potential to significantly improve efficiency, reduce downtime, and increase productivity. With its high-speed, low-latency connectivity, 5G can support the operation of autonomous machines and robots on the factory floor, helping to reduce the need for human labour and increase efficiency. 5G can also support the use of internet of things (IoT) sensors and other connected devices to monitor the condition of factory equipment in real-time, allowing manufacturers to predict when maintenance is needed and reduce downtime. In addition, 5G can improve communication and coordination within the supply chain, helping manufacturers to respond more quickly to changes in demand and make better use of their resources.

Finally, 5G can support the use of virtual and augmented reality technologies in manufacturing, providing more immersive training and other resources for workers and improving the overall experience on the factory floor. The AR product suite by Plutomen is already changing how industrial frontline teams work. The products reinvent industrial training, repair & maintenance, remote assistance, audits & inspections, and more.

Overall, the future of 5G in the manufacturing industry looks very promising and will likely have a significant impact on the way manufacturing is done in the years ahead.

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5G technology has the potential to significantly impact the manufacturing industry by improving efficiency, reducing costs, and enabling the adoption of advanced technologies. Some potential ways in which 5G could impact the manufacturing industry include: Improved efficiency: With low latency and high speed, 5G can enable real-time data collection and analysis, providing manufacturers with a more comprehensive view of their operations. This can help to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies and allow for more informed decision-making. Reduced costs: 5G can enable the use of advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize processes and reduce downtime. This can lead to cost savings by reducing the need for manual labour and increasing equipment uptime. Enabling advanced technologies: The high speed and low latency of 5G can enable the use of advanced technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and robotics in the manufacturing process. This can improve efficiency and accuracy, and potentially lead to the development of new manufacturing processes and products. Overall, the adoption of 5G technology has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency and productivity of the manufacturing industry, and drive innovation in the sector.

There are many potential ways in which 5G technology can be used in the manufacturing industry to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enable the adoption of advanced technologies. Some potential applications of 5G in manufacturing include: Real-time data collection and analysis: 5G can enable the collection and analysis of large amounts of data in real-time, providing manufacturers with a comprehensive view of their operations. This can help to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies, and allow for more informed decision-making. Internet of Things (IoT): 5G can enable the use of IoT devices to collect and transmit data from various points in the manufacturing process. This can be used to optimize processes, reduce downtime, and improve the maintenance of equipment. Artificial intelligence (AI): 5G can enable the use of AI to analyze data and make decisions in real-time, potentially leading to improved efficiency and accuracy in the manufacturing process. Augmented reality (AR): 5G can enable the use of AR in manufacturing settings, allowing workers to access information and instructions directly through their field of vision. This can improve efficiency and reduce the risk of errors.

5G technology has the potential to significantly improve efficiency and productivity in the manufacturing industry through real-time data collection and analysis, enabling the use of advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize processes and reduce downtime, increasing competitiveness by improving efficiency and enabling the development of new products and processes, and improving safety through the use of technologies such as robotics and augmented reality (AR).
Hiren Kanani

Hiren Kanani

CTO, Cofounder of Plutomen

With 10+ years' experience of Hiren Kanani has helped Plutomen ensure smooth communication between the company and the client for swift project delivery with fewer iterations. He is CTO & founder at Plutomen.

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