|Audi's headquarters in Germany. / Photo by: Srittau via Wikimedia Commons|
German automaker, Audi and Swedish telecoms company, Ericsson announced their plans to start 5G use in automobile production. The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding to conduct field tests of the Audi Production Lab in Germany.
The use of the 5G network in manufacturing could provide a significant boost in the production of automobiles. With a powerful network architecture, Audi factories would receive several benefits in labor force, workflows and overall operation.
Smart factories are expected to be an outcome of 5G network implementation in manufacturing facilities. The network increases flexibility and simplifies complex processes that typically occur in large-scale factories.
“Ericsson is already running 5G industry programs all over the world to help manufacturers boost productivity and create new business opportunities. This project is a great opportunity to see what is possible when we bring 5G into an automobile production environment to truly enable smart wireless manufacturing,” said Erik Ekudden, Group CTO at Ericsson.
The Swedish company already implemented 5G for manufacturing and it was able to deploy Industry 4.0 in certain factories. Industry 4.0 is a combination of several technologies involved in operation, information, and communications. Smart factories with a 5G network have ultra-low latency and high bandwidth capacity to optimize operations.
Ericsson installed the 5G network in three of their factories:
- In Sweden, a 5G factory creates test beds and ships them to various places worldwide. The factory has Precise Localization technology that uses low-power tags to transmit real-time location of tagged items.
- In Estonia, a digital factory uses augmented reality technology to assist in troubleshooting processes. According to Ericsson, the technology managed to increase the team’s effectiveness by at least 50 percent.
- In China, an IoT factory uses Industrial IoT and Narrowband IoT to improve tracking efficiency of tool usage, dispatching services, and maintenance.