Considered a key catalyst for Industry 4.0, 5G is laying the foundations for the digital transformation of businesses and will have a decisive impact on production in the coming years. Here are the main benefits and prospects for using this technology.
Impact of 5G on Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 has acted as a push to the digitalization of production processes, further accelerated in the last two years by the Covid-19 pandemic. In this context, the ability to collect, transfer and analyze huge volumes of data in factories becomes necessary. This largely depends on the high bandwidth and low latency characteristics of the connection. And this is where 5G comes in.
5G networks represent a breakthrough in data collection and analysis, as well as the ability to support and capitalize on advances in digital transformation. The Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are all decisive factors in the management of production data, but they depend on the quality and quantity of the data that can be managed and processed. The enabling of 5G is the support that companies need for this purpose; a guarantee in terms of performance and reliability.
Benefits and uses of industrial 5G
Fifth generation networks offer many advantages over 4G, landline and Wi-Fi. Benefits that go far beyond the speed of the network. In fact, 5G allows a more flexible and customized configuration based on the specific requirements of the company.
In a recent interview, Giovanni Miragliotta, director of the 5G Observatory and artificial intelligence of the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano, described the role of 5G in the future of the manufacturing industry as follows: “[…] it is not a technology that simply aims to give a faster connection, but offers a series of technical features that the industrial world feels a great need.” He continues “5G makes it possible to move computational capacity closer to the reality of the factory, allowing for example to make artificial intelligence algorithms work with very low response times. Soon it will allow the localization of objects even in an indoor environment with an accuracy of less than one meter. If we put all these elements together it emerges that this technology has the potential to rewrite the way factories are designed and work, giving flexibility and allowing operators to be supported by remote experts and allowing remote operations that are risky and repetitive.”
The advantages of 5G networks in industry can be summarized as follows:
- Improvement of mobile broadband and channel capacity.
- Greater productivity and efficiency of production processes.
- Low latency communications and faster data downloads.
- Improved monitoring for predictive maintenance purposes.
- Reliable and stable communication network, with greater safety also for workers.
- Ability to connect countless devices and offer an infinite number of connections.
- Cost cutting (compared, for example, to 4G).
- Better support for IoT, AI and AR based applications.
- Reaction time of up to 1 millisecond, with real-time responses and data transmissions.