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5G for Smart Manufacturing

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - 5G-SMART (5G for Smart Manufacturing)

Reporting period: 2019-06-01 to 2020-11-30

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 for this future manufacturing ecosystem.
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.
In the first period of the project, 5G-SMART has succeeded in making a broad analysis of smart manufacturing use cases. The project has identified, assessed and analyzed relevant communication KPIs for these use cases. Furthermore, for the trialed use cases, testbed specifications have been made, including the 5G deployment designs. The planned installations of 5G communication networks has been completed at all three trial sites which means that a major milestone of the project has been reached.
The use cases to be trialed in 5G-SMART are under intense development. For the Kista trial site a setup including both stationary robots and a mobile robot has been built up. First functionalities, like sensor data reading and human avoidance control logic have already been removed from the robot itself and are now deployed in the Edge cloud node instead.
At the Aachen trial site, a wirelessly connected acoustic emission system aiming at monitoring the condition of cutting tools has been developed and a prototype has been tested. Furthermore, a 5G versatile sensor platform, integrating a number of possible sensors for monitoring on the shopfloor, has been specified and a prototype is under development. A high-level architecture for the different data flows from the different sensor solutions via the factory cloud has been designed.
At the Reutlingen trial site, a measurement campaign has been conducted aiming to better understand the propagation characteristics of 5G radio waves in industrial environments. In a second measurement campaign electromagnetic compliance has been studied, which ensures that the radio signals do not have any adverse effects on the production and testing. The development work on the mobile robots to be deployed at the Reutlingen trial site has made significant progress. A first demo showcases the coordination of the mobile robots using a common map stored in the Edge cloud.
The efforts of 5G-SMART going beyond the trials have in the first period of the project focused on 5G optimization and the analysis of radio network deployment options. Here, 5G-SMART has provided a comprehensive overview of different radio network deployment options for smart manufacturing, discussing and analyzing the input data necessary to select the most feasible deployment options for a desired industrial 5G scenario and service. Furthermore, a thorough gap analysis has been made between the state of the art and the smart manufacturing use cases, identifying new 5G features necessary to be further developed to close the gap. Different network architectures and the impact on different stakeholders has been discussed both from a deployment perspective and an architectural perspective. Taking the trialed use cases of 5G-SMART as examples, different 5G architecture options have been analyzed and assessed.
The project’s progress and findings have been published to target audiences in form of e.g. scientific papers, keynotes, contributions to standards and industrial alliances (5G-ACIA, NGMN), demos, keynotes, workshops, etc.
In the second project period, with all 3 trial sites being operational, 5G-SMART will focus on finalizing the use case development and validating the 5G use cases to be trialed. During this process learnings will be gathered including achieved results, measurement outcome, issues encountered, etc. The properties and characteristics of the designed systems will be summarized, and final demos will be prepared to showcase the feasibility and value of 5G for the considered use cases.
The project will continue the evaluation and study of the radio network deployment options identified in the first project period. The new 5G features particularly interesting for manufacturing use cases as well as 5G network architecture options already identified in the project, will be further studied and evaluated, adding also the description of a conceptual solution for new management functions for entire communication systems.
In terms of business models, 5G-SMART will investigate various mobile network operator engagement options for industrial use cases and develop a framework for a value analysis for different actors. Furthermore, the assessment framework for business value creation enabled by 5G for manufacturing industries will be further refined and applied.
5G-SMART is creating 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 is very closely linked to 5G-ACIA and other organizations.