Collaboration enables 5G in factory of the future

1st March 2018
Lanna Cooper

Ericsson, TIM and Comau, are showing at MWC 2018 their cloud robotics solution, as a first implementation result of ‘5G for Italy’ collaboration agreement, signed last year, to explore the potential of 5G through a series of use cases related to the development of services and solutions on Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing enabled by 5G technologies.

At MWC 2018, Ericsson, TIM and Comau demonstrate the benefits of 5G-based industrial virtualisation through a pioneering proof of concept implemented in Italy - which is the first and concrete result of a year of collaboration - and now brought to Barcelona, showcasing the factory of the future, that will be realised through the digitisation of the manufacturing process and plants, which will be enabled by 5G networks and all their building blocks.

Through the combination of TIM and Ericsson's leadership in 5G networks and technologies and Comau's leadership in automated manufacturing solutions, this collaboration aims to prove the benefits of advanced solutions adoption for industrial automation.

Industry 4.0 is expected to be one of the major 5G use cases in terms of business potential, as it leverages on 5G technologies, robotics, machine learning, IoT platforms, Cloud and Big Data solutions to bring, increased competitiveness and efficiency for smart manufacturing, maintenance and quality control.

Guaranteed real time communication between humans, robots, factory logistics and products is a fundamental prerequisite of the Industry 4.0 concept.

Making good products is important for the success of a manufacturer, but it is not enough to be profitable and to sustain business. Improving the efficiency of a manufacturing system through automation is the key.

The factory of the future could consist of flexible production islands, able to realise different types of building blocks, without the rigidity of conveyors and with truly standard robotised working stations.

The first results, coming from the ‘5G for Italy program’ cooperation between Ericsson, TIM, Comau and the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies show that - with its standardised networking capabilities, built-in security, guaranteed grades of service, as well as distributed cloud and network slicing concepts - 5G is a suitable tool for advanced industries that want to take advantage of digital transformation.

Federico Rigoni, Country Manager, Ericsson Italy, said: “As a leader in 5G infrastructure - including cloud technologies, big data analytics and IT capabilities - Ericsson is well placed to take a leading role in this transformation and partner with industries to develop solutions that are tailored to fit their needs. Our fruitful collaboration with TIM, Comau, and the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies of Pisa, is the first step.”

Mario Di Mauro, TIM Chief Strategy Officer, stressed the importance of the results: ‘’Nowadays all industries are experiencing a deep ICT-driven transformation. Our strategy aims to make 4.0 Industry a reality in Italy, and this collaboration with Ericsson and Comau is an important milestone to prove how digital and industrial plants can leverage on the potential of 5G.

"Moreover, in its first year the ‘5G for Italy’ initiative has successfully built up a solid business network ecosystem which will bring value to all the partners in diverse industries, boasting TIM’s commitment for Italy as one of the leaders in its digital transformation towards becoming a Gigabit society.”

Mauro Fenzi, Comau CEO, focused on the importance of the project: “The digitised factory operations have accelerated the transformation of the manufacturing industry from mass production to personalised customisation. 5G technology makes it possible to optimise the manufacturing process, detect quality issues early to prevent defects and make continuous improvements, while carrying out predictive and preventive maintenance.

"The combination of wireless sensors and high capacity communication networks, such as 4G and 5G, plays a key role in this context by enabling data collection from the shop-floor level (production lines) and data transfer to cloud systems for continuous monitoring and control. This collaboration enables us to develop the technological infrastructures for the communication networks of the 'Factory 4.0'”.

Featured products

Upcoming Events

View all events
Latest global electronics news