The Fourth Industrial Revolution is constantly evolving. The progress of Industry 4.0 is still in the making thanks to the advances in those technologies that made it possible in the first place. Technologies such as low-cost sensors, Big Data and, of course, wireless connections.
The fundamental goal of Industry 4.0 is to make factories smarter by increasing their adaptability and efficiency in resource management, as well as improving the integration of supply and demand processes between factories. All this is based on a key element: data. Or rather Big Data analysis to discover and collect information, models, trends, correlations and patterns in order to optimize and automate production and maintenance.
To this end, wireless solutions play an extremely significant role, as they allow production data to be collected, moved and shared faster and more efficiently.
Wireless technologies for Industry 4.0
IoT and connectivity are the enabling factors of Industry 4.0. Wireless networks have always powered smart production, starting with 4G and then migrating to 5G.
Wired and Wi-Fi networks can meet the needs of a static office environment but are not designed for mobility. Which makes them unsuitable for the industrial sector, as they lack coverage, reliability and safety.
Instead, mobile networks have greater capacity and coverage. With superior signal penetration and fewer blind spots, they are ideal for effectively and reliably connecting devices that need to move freely and in harsh radio environments. In addition, they provide lower and more predictable latency. This is essential for machine-to-machine connectivity (as in the case of robotics), where it would be problematic to have a delay between instruction and reaction.
Impact of wireless in Industry 4.0
With higher bandwidth and higher frequencies, wireless technologies in Industry 4.0 ensure greater data transmission. For example, 5G has an even higher speed and capacity than previous generations, and this allows acceleration in the use of Big Data and Advanced Analytics.
This new frontier in data management represents a turning point for the Internet of Things, digitalization and, in general, smart manufacturing, as it promotes an unprecedented level of automation in production.
Furthermore, most wireless equipment provides a longer range of coverage, while technologies such as 5G allow work continuity even on the move. All this translates into increasing mobility inside and outside the plants.
Finally, today there are wireless and 5G devices of all shapes and sizes. A further benefit for Industry 4.0, as it guarantees operators maximum flexibility in the design of their networks.