Posted on : Monday 9th March 2020 06:50 AM
5G technology has arrived.
While promises of a more connected world and smart infrastructure are a few years off, carriers are starting to take the starting steps to utilize this game-changing wireless system, comes with speeds almost 100 times faster than 4G. In early April, Verizon launched a 5G service in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis, developing itself as a domestic leader in the new wave of networks. In parallel, equipment providers like Nokia are expanding their offers to include enterprise 5G LAN systems, providing an exclusive solution that augments this technology’s public rollout.
As wide-spread adoption approaches, the public and private sector alike are seeking ways to achieve competitive advantages through 5G technology. Its abilities have led to an international fight over which country will lead the way. By some estimates, the “winner” could land $500 billion in GDP and up to 3 million new jobs – a sum that justifies the worldwide scramble.
Manufacturers early to embrace the new technology will position themselves as technological titans in their field, riding on the industrial innovation wave to new heights by implementing disruptive IIoT technologies. 5G technology is already here – now manufacturers must make a plan and use it effectively.
Full Speed Ahead
With speeds predicted to ascend to an average of one gigabit per second, 5G opens up the way for near-instant data transfers and lighting-fast access to information. While swift downloads pique the interest of consumers, upgraded networks are also posed to significantly benefit industrial operations. On the factory floor, higher speed and lower latency will enable continuous monitoring of equipment’s health and performance. Tracking and quickly responding to data gives factories unrivaled manufacturing agility without forcing them to relinquish high productivity levels.
Real-time insights allow manufacturers to proactively determine machine wear and tear rather than waiting for equipment to break down. More effective troubleshooting and preventative maintenance decreases on the $50 billion a year manufacturers cede to unplanned costs. Through 5G’s faster network, companies minimize production costs while improving product quality – lowering expensive recalls and escalating customer satisfaction. The benefit of continuous monitoring also extends to construction jobsites, where fleet managers can track equipment performance data and make instant alterations.
Decision makers need information instantly, and 5G-based endpoint appliances deliver it instantly and reliably. U.S. manufacturers can get ahead of the industrial IoT curve by pairing data-collection devices with a 5G network. Consumers continue to demand quality products at a faster pace, saddling factories with a heavy workload and a thin margin for error. Constant inter-device communication through faster wireless networks helps companies escalate productivity and boost to this challenge while still complying with essential regulations and standards.
Adding in Automation
Right from the grocery store to the bank, automation has become established in society, and the factory floor is the same. As 5G networks emerge, automation may take on a greater role than most experts anticipate. Robots are completing significantly complex tasks, making rapid data processing an expectation as opposed to a luxury. Now, 5G technology is transforming the role of robotics, allowing systems to not only monitor in real time, but also accept feedback.
By communicating with other machines, in addition to their human counterparts, robots carry out tasks more expeditiously, adapting to changes without severely altering productivity. 5G’s speed and reliability also opens the door for improved machine learning, permitting robots to assume greater responsibility and improve accuracy over time. Outside of productivity, automation can make better working conditions, taking on riskier worker tasks and simplifying jobs through human-robot collaboration.
Beyond factory efficiency, automation and lag-free intra-machine communication will lead to better, more integrated supply chain management. With more data points and significantly granular information, manufacturers attain greater visibility into product delivery times, transit conditions and more. Higher supply chain awareness enables companies to alter production strategies and improve schedules.
A new era in network connectivity is here, with the U.S. doing all it can to finish first in the race to 5G. Although the transition may require significant time and resources, the investment promises to pay off. With benefits like greater production speed, cost savings and new jobs stemming from industrial IoT technologies, benefiting a 5G network’s capabilities will allow manufacturers to take a swift, bold step toward the future.
This article is originally posted on manufacturing.net