Most of the technologies that the fourth industrial revolution (4ir) relied on are complete – at least in theory. Advanced Robotics and 3D printing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, advanced sensors and Internet of things (IOT), cloud computing, virtual and augmented reality, advanced data analysis – whether these technologies are applied to the supply chain, production process or products and services provided to customers, most manufacturing enterprises recognize the value of these technologies, but few enterprises at present The industry is betting heavily on deploying these technologies throughout its operations.

A study conducted by PwC and the American Manufacturing Association in 2019 shows that more than half of manufacturers are only in the initial stage of trying emerging technologies, and some are far from starting. Nowadays, 5g wireless communication technology with super high speed and super flexibility has been applied all over the world. 5g technology will bring highly reliable, almost instantaneous data connectivity – a key component supporting the vision of smart factories, interconnected supply chains and IOT enabled products.

5g may not improve the internal productivity of 4ir immediately, but no manufacturer can ignore its potential. In the near future, 5g will help factories realize the application of many new technologies and processes.

Imagine intelligent manufacturing

Modern factory is already a highly complex environment. Even if it is not the reality, 4ir is expected to promote all kinds of organizations to realize all-round digitization in manufacturing industry. Advanced machines and robots are loaded with a large number of sensors, which are connected with the high-performance analysis engine in the cloud to complete the evaluation of equipment performance, manage the production plan, ensure the supply and arrange various activities in the factory.

Imagine how 5g networks transform factories: 5g networks can reach 10Gbps, far faster than Wi Fi, and its near zero latency will reduce previous concerns about the speed and reliability of wireless protocols.

Without wired network, 5g will bring higher flexibility and support high-speed manufacturing environment. Compared with wired network or previous wireless devices, factories with 5g network can bring more sensors into the network connection, and finally realize the interconnection of everything.

5g has the most potential to achieve optimization in the following aspects:

Production optimization. Real time access to equipment, inventory and production data, so that enterprises can analyze the production mode in detail. Based on this information, the enterprise can determine the correct sequence of production activities, optimize the process, improve the fluency of production cycle and reduce waste.

Modular chemical plant. 5g’s high density, high speed, high bandwidth and low delay will bring considerable flexibility. Manufacturing tools and robots can be quickly and repeatedly used to improve efficiency, thus creating an environment that can realize mass customization and on-demand production.

Enterprise connectivity. 5g helps to integrate the infrastructure, operation technology and resources of the factory with the IT system of the enterprise, optimize the production process of the factory and realize remote control.

interface. 5g’s high speed and high density can provide mobile data and visualization solutions for employees, such as tablet computers and augmented reality equipment, so that employees can visually interact with machines and products, thus freeing them from fixed computer terminals.

Supply chain integration. With the improvement of supply chain transparency, 5g network integrated into the factory production tools can ensure fast and automatic replenishment of parts and supplies, so as to minimize production delay and improve efficiency.

Preventive maintenance. Dense sensor array can help enterprises to monitor the status of production equipment in real time. In turn, enterprises can carry out regular maintenance of equipment according to their needs, predict the demand for irregular maintenance before problems occur, and help comprehensive equipment suppliers to implement remote diagnosis.

Safety. The application of various sensors and 5g near instantaneous response time will create a very safe manufacturing environment, requiring fewer employees on site and more sensitive response to emergency shutdown signals.

Take the experience of a German manufacturer of metal bladed disks for jet engines as an example. The manufacturing process of Blisk is long and complex,

As a result, the defective rate is as high as 25%, and the problem bladed disk cannot be identified before the completion of the product. After installing sensors that can detect potential faults in real time and connecting them with 5g network, the manufacturer can stop the machine before the fault occurs. As a result, the defective rate has decreased significantly, and the average production cost of a single blade disk has been saved by thousands of euros.

Editor in charge: yyx

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