Stuttgart-based automotive group Porsche announces the installation of a 5G test network at its Leipzig plant. This is intended to drive forward the transformation of the company’s production facilities on the way to becoming a smart factory.
5G: For the manufacturing of the future
The new mobile communications standard 5G creates the technological conditions for wireless, faster and more efficient data transmission than its predecessors. Its standout feature here is the establishment of real-time connections with very low latency. It enables more and more companies in industry to monitor, maintain and optimize their production processes in real time.
Smart factory with 5G
This technology puts manufacturing companies in the comfortable position of not only keeping an eye on the actual state of their machines. It also opens up completely new possibilities for them to manage their future condition. For example, with the right sensors, analyses of the manufacturing process can gather information on how much stress is being placed on the equipment used in the process. The metrics can predict when repairs or even replacement of individual components will be necessary. This gives operators the time to plan for these steps and the necessary replacements.
Another technology enabled by 5G, digital twins, also allows them to test potential applications for their technology in advance. By creating virtual prototypes with their functions, technical processes can be tested without having to make major financial or infrastructural investments in reality.
Porsche on the way to the smart factory
The sports car developer from Stuttgart expects the implementation of its private 5G frequency, which is, however, based on the commercial standard, to be a major step toward the contemporary adaptation of its production facilities to the future that is already emerging. For example, the executive board cites a focus on better environmental sustainability, leaner management and, in general, better adaptation to future industrial needs as the main reasons for the company’s digital transformation.
The plan is to extend the 5G technology already in use at Porsche’s Weissach development center to other production areas to ensure secure data transfer between vehicles. Next, the body shop of the Macan is targeted as a worthwhile 5G deployment opportunity. Here, robot signals will no longer be cable-based in the future, but transmitted via wireless network technology.
Ericson: Porsche partner in the transformation
Porsche was able to win over the mobile communications provider Ericson to provide this 5G experimental network. The Swedish company is equipping the Baden-Württemberg-based company with world market-leading products in 5G and private network technology. This connectivity software is intended to take the company to the next level in the digital transformation process. The rewards are greater efficiency, increased production, and greater security and mobility – market-relevant values that will also serve as a model for other sectors of the economy.