European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

5G for Smart Manufacturing

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - 5G-SMART (5G for Smart Manufacturing)

Reporting period: 2020-12-01 to 2022-05-31

The manufacturing sector is entering a period of disruptive change and digital transformation towards what is termed Industry 4.0. Smart manufacturing is at the heart of this, enabling the transformation of today’s factories into factories of the future, making the vision of highly efficient, connected and flexible factories become reality. Leveraged in the right way, this transformation can have a significant impact on society. For instance, increasing industrial efficiency can help to decrease the reduction of global emissions, smarter logistics can reduce transport emissions, more accurate live monitoring of processes can reduce overall fault detection time, reduce waste, but also increase workers safety.
In order to make Industry 4.0 happen, future manufacturing systems require the implementation of a reliable communication system capable of handling diverse types of information exchange that is found in a manufacturing environment, and which can require low reaction times and deterministic performance. 5G is foreseen as a key enabler here.
Motivated by this, 5G-SMART aims at demonstrating how 5G can improve manufacturing through its work on industry field trials, business models and research concepts. For this purpose, industry field trials have been built up by the project at 3 locations across Europe: An Ericsson factory in Kista (Sweden), a machine hall of the Fraunhofer Institute of Production Technology IPT in Aachen (Germany) and a Bosch semiconductor factory in Reutlingen (Germany). The objective of 5G-SMART is to demonstrate, validate and evaluate the potential of 5G technologies and architecture capabilities in these real manufacturing environments, thus contributing to the 5G Action plan for Europe. Identifying and analyzing requirements and KPIs of industrial use cases plays a key role, where 5G-SMART takes a focus on industrial characteristics. In its efforts going beyond the project’s industry field trials 5G-SMART’s objectives are to identify, assess and propose new 5G features targeting connected industries. To further accelerate the take-up of 5G in the manufacturing ecosystem, 5G-SMART has an objective on exploring new business models, identifying the potential for factory owners, operational technology suppliers and mobile network operators, as well as looking into regulatory aspects for smart manufacturing.
5G-SMART has made an important contribution to better understanding the needs of the manufacturing sector with respect to 5G, with the exploration and analysis of both trialed use cases as well as additional six forward-looking smart manufacturing use cases. The analysis of the requirements and KPIs of the use cases clearly showed the need of a reliable, low-latency, high-performance wireless infrastructure in factories of the future.
While this wireless infrastructure is recognized to play a decisive role, uncertainty is still inhibiting investments so far. The main reason is that a comprehensive framework is missing to quantify potential improvements and allow an economic evaluation of 5G-enabled benefits for specific use cases from an end-user perspective. In an attempt to fill this gap, 5G-SMART has developed an assessment framework to quantify the business value of 5G for industry applications.
Furthermore, with respect to business models, 5G-SMART has contributed to a wider understanding of the different strengths and weaknesses of service providers and how different deployment options fit some scenarios better than others.
5G-SMART has identified, analyzed and discussed different radio network deployment options for smart manufacturing, aiming at providing an overview for any desired industrial 5G scenario or service. A wide range of system-level simulation studies has been performed that assess the technical performance of the identified deployment scenarios.
The three industry field trials designed and developed within the project are a key achievement and the basis for the evaluation, validation and demonstration of 5G for industrial use cases. At the Kista trial site, 5G capabilities for 5G enhanced industrial robotics have been investigated. The results show e.g. the feasibility of moving high-level robot control functionality to en edge-cloud node, while running communication over 5G. At the Aachen trial site, 5G for enhanced industrial manufacturing processes has been in the focus. Here, an acoustic emission (AE) sensor has been developed and integrated into a machine, to monitor the condition of cutting tools. In a second use case a 5G versatile multi-sensor platform (MSP) has been developed allowing to measure or sense many diverse physical quantities across the factory floor. The results show that both the AE system and the MSP can be realized via 5G. At the Reutlingen trial site, 5G has been validated in a Bosch semiconductor factory environment from two different perspectives. First, 5G radio propagation in the production environment and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and second, 5G has been validated on the application-level, by realizing a cloud-based mobile robotics use case and a Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN)/Industrial Local Area Network (LAN) over 5G use case. All 3 testbeds have become endorsed by 5G-ACIA.
Apart from KPIs for evaluating 5G performance, 5G-SMART has also analyzed industrial-focused KPIs by evaluating the impact of the use cases on seven industry goals: quality, mobility, safety, flexibility, productivity, utilization, and sustainability.
Going beyond the trials, 5G-SMART has looked into aspects on 5G optimization for smart manufacturing. The project focused on: Advanced 5G technical features, novel 5G network architecture options and an industrial-centric network management of the 5G system.
The 5G advanced technical features considered are: 5G-TSN integration, 5G-based positioning, and time synchronization.
On the topic of novel 5G network architecture options, the work by 5G-SMART covers an in-depth investigation of device to edge cloud aspects for several non-public network deployment models, in order to allow the adoption of cloud technologies for industrial applications. In addition, systematic investigations a framework was proposed for a systematic analysis of different NPN operation models.
Concerning the Edge cloud architecture, an extensive analysis of different Edge cloud integration options with NPN deployment models was performed. The investigation showed how the 5G system with URLLC features, TSN support and integration with Edge cloud can provide E2E deterministic communication services for a wide range of smart manufacturing use cases.
Along with architectural and technical features, it is important to align the 5G network management with existing network management and industrial applications. 5G-SMART has developed an industrial centric network management framework which helps industrial application and network management solutions to leverage functionality of the 5G system in a simplified manner.
5G-SMART has created impact by bringing information and communication technology (ICT) and operational technology (OT) partners together, driving industry standards and scientific research, and studying 5G-enabled manufacturing solutions. Furthermore, through its partners and via contributions, 5G-SMART has been very closely linked to 5G-ACIA and other organizations thereby ensuring an uptake of the results produced in the project.