By Peter Fretty
For more, visit: NewEquipment.com/21122016
Moving beyond all the marketing hype, 5G connectivity is finally starting to arrive in strategic locations across the country. And according to a recent report by the Brookings Institute, the importance of 5G is undeniable. “It is the
most significant network overall in history because the alchemy of digital technology allows the transformation of
what was always done in hardware to become functions
accomplished in software. Then, with such a virtualized network, the power of the lingua franca of Internet Protocol takes
over to eliminate the need for specific technology protocols
for specific functions,” writes report author Tom Wheeler.
But what does that mean for today’s manufacturers?
Unlike past wireless evolutions, the move from 4G to 5G
has the potential to offer significant benefits to manufacturers. The most notable benefit? Fueling the smart factory.
“The biggest change is the number of devices that can be
connected increases by 100 times and latency decreases to
one-tenth of what it was. That’s why 5G is known as the enabler of the Internet of Things (Io T),” says WIA President
and CEO Jonathan Adelstein.
BUILDING THE BUSINESS CASE
The biggest stumbling block for the widespread deployment is the lack of a business case for the consumer markets. From a consumer standpoint, faster download speeds
are the main benefit. And with current network capacity,
consumers already have speeds fast enough to handle most
(if not all) their needs. The wireless industry needs to invest massive amounts of capital to upgrade these networks
without a clear consumer return. As such, empowering Io T
is potentially the biggest new market, essentially enabling
smarter, connected factories.
Obviously, like any true evolution, new hardware requirements
exist from a provider standpoint.
However, 5G is, by far, the most
software-based evolution to date,
which results in the ability to develop new applications and new
ways of using the network overtime through software upgrades.
According to the Brookings report, the entire 5G ecosystem
needs a security strategy. “The
supply chain that makes up 5G
runs the gamut from radio networks, to the integrated chipsets in that network, and the
devices that will use the network (not just phones, but also
billions of IoT devices). Each of these devices then have
their own component parts supply chain that introduces
risk. And, of course, the services that ride the new network
are themselves vulnerable.”
SIEMENS AND QUALCOMM TECHNOLOGIES
IMPLEMENT FIRST PRIVATE 5G STANDALONE
Siemens and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. have implemented the first private 5G standalone (SA) network in a
real industrial environment using the 3. 7-3. 8 GHz band.
Both companies have joined forces in this project: Siemens
is providing the actual industrial test conditions and end
devices such as Simatic control systems and IO devices and
Qualcomm Technologies is supplying the 5G test network
and the relevant test equipment. The 5G network was installed in Siemens’ Automotive Showroom and Test Center in Nuremberg. Automated guided vehicles are (AGV)
displayed here which are primarily used in the automotive
industry. New manufacturing options and methods are also
developed, tested and presented before they are put into action on customer sites.
CORNING EMBRACES 5G AT HICKORY, NC FIBER
Verizon has installed 5G Ultra Wideband service in Corn-
ing’s fiber optic cable manufacturing facility in Hickory, NC.
Corning is turning to 5G to improve manufacturing process
by enhancing capabilities like machine learning, augmented
reality, and virtual reality (AR/VR). Engineers from Veri-
zon and Corning will explore how the factory of the future
can use 5G to dramatically speed data collection, allow ma-
chines to communicate with each other in near real time,
and wirelessly track and inspect inventory using 5G-con-
nected cameras. They’ll also test how 5G can improve the
function of autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) by helping
them move more efficiently around the factory floor.
NEWPORT NEWS SHIPBUILDING FIRST
SHIPYARD TO LEVERAGE 5G
Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband service is now live at Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), a division of Huntington
Ingalls Industries (HII) in Newport News, VA. “Adding this
capability to our infrastructure will allow our workforce
to have the right information, at the right time, and at the
right location to perform their jobs,” said Bharat Amin, executive vice president and CIO of Huntington Ingalls. The
shipyard deployment is part of Verizon’s initiative to help
manufacturers explore how 5G can transform the way they
do business. 5G’s high bandwidth and low latency will help
NNS increase automation and the ability to take advantage
of technologies like advanced robotics, real-time analytics,
and 3D holographic design. The 5G deployment is expected
to be able to support up to 1M connected devices per square
kilometer and its increased throughput and low latency will
enable things like autonomous robotics and enhance machine learning and AR/VR solutions to improve the overall
speed and quality needed to deliver the nation’s warships.
5G could enable the company to connect hundreds of Io T
sensors to provide real-time status of processing, machines,
alarms, etc. to helping them make better decisions in near
real-time. “5G will be a game changer when our engineers
can put on a pair of AR goggles connected to 5G and map
out 3D drawings or video chat directly with the those
employees working inside a ship in real-time,” said Brian
Fields, vice president of Business Transformation and CIO
at Newport News Shipbuilding. “Using 5G to connect our
shipyard ecosystem and improving the productivity of our
employees who are designing and building the nations warships will truly be transformational.”