In a world of connected plants and machines that communicate with each other, fast data connections are needed to make such scenarios possible in the first place. The coming 5G mobile communication generation is of critical importance, because present communications standards cannot fulfill the requirements of industrial applications.
To define the standards of this mobile communication generation and ensure suitability for automation, the “5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation” (5G-ACIA) task force was founded on April 3, 2018 at the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturer’s Association (ZVEI). Pepperl+Fuchs, a manufacturer of industrial automation technology, is also part of this initiative and is working together with 32 other members to prepare 5G for industrial use.
Compared to the previous mobile communication generation, 5G focuses more on “machine-type communication” and the Internet of things to realize wireless Industry 4.0 applications. “With 5G, not only the higher possible bandwidths are important, but also the reduced latency in the millisecond range, which is necessary for mobile applications with demanding real-time requirements,” says Benedikt Rauscher, Head of Global IOT Projects and Industry 4.0 at Pepperl+Fuchs.
5G-ACIA members are actively engaged in shaping standards and rules for 5G. Part of their work will involve identifying and analyzing use cases and the corresponding industry demands. "5G will become the central nervous system of the factory of the future, and it will have a disruptive impact on industrial production,” says Dr. Andreas Müller (Bosch), Chairman of 5G-ACIA. "For the first time, 5G-ACIA brings together all the major global players. This enables us to work in a concerted and targeted manner to ensure that the interests of industry are taken into account accordingly.”
The task force is made up of representatives from the automation and manufacturing Industry, as well as leading organizations in the field of information and communication technology. That is why Dr. Gunther Kegel, CEO of Pepperl+Fuchs, is enthusiastic about the 33-member group: “Initiated by ZVEI members, the 5G task force has been quickly gaining additional members who also want to advance the topic of 5G in industry. I have never experienced such strong and broad support.” This level of engagement and interest shows how important the coming 5G mobile communication generation is for the future of industrial production.
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