Industrial 5G. The future “speaks” 5G – and so do weIndustrie 4.0, the smart factory, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – these are the future of industrial manufacturing. Designing production plants and intralogistics to be more flexible, autonomous, and efficient requires the right communication framework and comprehensive connectivity. The new 5G communication standard opens up important new prospects.
Industrial 5G. Our commitment to the future.
Before the green light for the smart factory can be given, new concepts and technologies are required – from production to intralogistics and transportation. There is already talk of applications such as mobile robots in production, autonomous vehicles in the transportation and logistics sectors, IIoT, augmented reality applications for service and maintenance technicians, and virtual reality applications for users. But all these applications place demands that would quickly push today’s networks to their limits. The unprecedented reliability, extremely low latencies, and comprehensive IIoT connectivity of industrial 5G can clear the way for pioneering applications in the industrial environment.
In its search for long-term, sustainable communication solutions, Siemens is now investigating the terrain for industrial 5G and actively supporting the development and technological implementation of the new standard.
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Industrial 5G. First industrial 5G router announced.From a vision to reality: Siemens will be launching the first industrial 5G router in spring 2021. SCALANCE MUM856-1 supports 4G as well as 5G. In an IP65 enclosure, the device was developed for applications in demanding industrial environments and can be used in both public and private 5G campus networks.
Industrial 5G. We are testing the future.
Siemens is driving the development of Industrial 5G. In addition to announcing the new 5G router, the company has set another milestone on the path to Industrial 5G at its own Automotive Showroom and Test Center in Nuremberg, Germany: a private standalone 5G network in an industrial environment that is based exclusively on Siemens prototypes.
Expectations are running high for the potential of 5G wireless communication for industrial applications. To test its feasibility, a proof of concept for Industrial 5G has been set up at the Siemens Automotive Showroom and Testcenter. The private 5G installation uses the 3.7 to 3.8 GHz 5G frequenzy band.
Here comprehensive tests are being carried out in a real industrial environment to thoroughly test the performance of Industrial 5G. The Industrial 5G test network is being used to test concrete industrial applications with 5G, such as the operation of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) for smart production, logistics and highly flexible manufacturing. Whether it’s the reliability of wireless communication, its real-time behavior, or its safety in interactions between humans and machines, all aspects are being rigorously tested at the Nuremberg Test Center under actual industrial conditions.
Industrial 5G. Making new applications possible.
From smartphones and field PGs to industrial tablet PCs and RFID handheld devices, the number of mobile devices in the industrial environment is growing dramatically. At the same time, an increasing number of devices is available for handling the growth in smart communication between machines and applications. All these devices require a reliable network. Industrial 5G provides the necessary connectivity.
Mobile robots in production as well as machines and devices that are seamlessly interconnected and communicate autonomously are basic components of highly flexible and, at the same time, efficient production – and for Industrie 4.0. They require low latencies and extremely reliable communication. Industrial 5G optimally meets these requirements.
In the future, augmented reality applications will ensure that service and maintenance technicians are deployed more rapidly, safely, and efficiently. But also machine operators can benefit from AR, for example for teach-in and operation. Industrial 5G provides the high bandwidth necessary for transmitting data-rich audiovisual information.
The future of efficient intralogistics depends on the autonomously navigating and cooperating vehicles and robots known as AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles). Industrial 5G guarantees the necessary low-latency and highly reliable data transmission.
Industrial Edge combines local, high-performance data processing directly on the automation level with the benefits of the cloud. Industrial 5G provides reliable connectivity and a high bandwidth for exchanging data between Edge devices and the cloud. The low latencies enable fast decision making. Results can be analyzed immediately and the analysis data shared and made globally accessible.
There are three major beneficial scenarios with 5G:
- Speeds 10-20 times faster than with 4G – this scenario is called enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB)
- Highest Reliability with lowest guaranteed latencies below 10 ms with Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication (URRLC)
- Up to 1 million devices can be connected per square kilometer thanks to Massive Machine-Type Communication (mMTC)
But you won't be able to fully enjoy all these benefits at the same time in a single network: Users must decide what their application needs, and structure their network accordingly. For example, if you need maximum data rates, the network can’t also provide extremely low latencies at the same time. If your focus is on the lowest possible latencies, you need to make sacrifices in terms of data rates or the number of participants connected.
In most cases, consumer applications need high data rates, for example to stream videos in 4K while traveling. Reliability and ultra-low latency are the most important factors for industrial applications. That’s why industrial customers will choose a different focus when setting up their 5G networks. Because of these different focuses, we get two different demand profiles: Public vs. industrial.
Spectrum for private 5G networks
Spectrum must be made available for the use of private networks. In Germany, the federal government has reserved 100 MHz bandwidth (from 3.7 to 3.8 GHz) for local use, such as in industrial companies. That gives businesses in Germany the opportunity to lease spectrum for an annual fee and use it exclusively within their own business premises. Applications must be submitted to the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA).
The fee is broken down as follows:
fee = 1,000 + B x t x 5 (6a1 + a2), where
- 1,000: Basic fee of €1,000
- B: Assigned bandwidth from 10 MHz to 100 MHz
- T: Length of allocation in years or parts of a year, based on each month or part thereof
- a1: Coverage area in km² based on residential land and transport infrastructure
- a2: Coverage area in km² based on other types of land
Industrial 5G …
- … is 5G communication that meets the demands of industrial applications.
- … is based on Release 16 (or later) of the wireless standard* that supports the URLLC scenario.
- … runs on hardware designed for industrial environments that differ from consumer-based applications.
- … is run in a local private network and supports industrial protocols (OPC UA, PROFINET, Safety, etc.).
Depending on the application, not all four of these aspects may be satisfied. For remote access via mobile wireless 5G networks, for example, Release 16 or a local private network are not essential. To operate a mobile robot, however, all four aspects must be covered.
* The Standard is published by 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project), a grouping of mobile telecommunications standards organizations,
Industrial 5G. Bundle expertise.
Cooperating for the future – 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation
How can the manufacturing and process industries consistently benefit from the new 5G communication standard? And what is needed for 5G to meet the high requirements of industry? The 5G-ACIA global initiative was established at the beginning of 2018 with these challenges in mind. As a member of this initiative, Siemens is directing the future of industry – in collaboration with other well-known companies from the automation and manufacturing industries and leading organizations in the field of information and communication technology.
Digital Connectivity with 5G – Where’s the journey heading?
Industrial 5G. We’re working on it.
Industrial 5G raises a lot of questions, we’re aware of that. And because we know that, we at Siemens maintain a separate research team devoted to this topic. Our experts are hard at work on the new communication standard and its implementation in the industrial and manufacturing environment.