5G Technology for industrial use: Secure transfer of high data rates and increased efficiency

One example of the use of 5G for the SmartFactoryKL Industrie 4.0 production plant is the optical quality control during transport operations. SmartFactoryKL/A. Sell

How can high data rates be protected and transmitted with the lowest possible latency in an industrial environment? The ideal answer is the new 5G mobile technology, which is scheduled to be launched by 2020. The partner consortium behind the SmartFactoryKL Industrie 4.0 production plant will demonstrate a use case at Hannover Messe from April 23-27, 2018: an optical quality inspection is performed as the work piece is moved by the flexible transport system.

Data is transmitted wirelessly by means of the 5G technology from the camera to the cloud for evaluation. Depending on the result, the product is moved to the next appropriate processing point. This solution is presented at the joint exhibit stand of SmartFactoryKL and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Hall 8, Stand D18.

“Wireless networks are becoming more important in highly flexible production plants where people and equipment are increasingly mobile. For the first time, thanks to 5G mobile wireless technology, secure, real-time radio links in protected frequency bands are possible. We are working on this innovative topic together with our partners in a collaborative network,” said Prof. Dr. Detlef Zühlke, Chairman of the Board at SmartFactoryKL.

The fifth-generation mobile radio technology (5G) supports high, mobile transfer rates: experts expect up to 20 gigabits per second. In contrast to the use of 4G (LTE), Wi-Fi or Bluetooth®, transmission can take place in a protected band, which is particularly relevant for industrial companies. Another 5G feature is the low latency of less than one millisecond, which allows the new technology to operate in near real time.

The setup of wireless microcells with 5G technology provides ideal conditions for use in industrial machines and work units. The market maturity of this technology is expected to take another two years. Until that time, illustrative examples of applications are used for purposes of demonstration, as seen at SmartFactoryKL.

Use Case at SmartFactoryKL Industrie 4.0 plant: Quality assurance and production control during transport

At SmartFactoryKL, the partners have implemented optical quality controls in the flexible transport system (FTS) by retrofitting it with a camera. The product quality is checked while the product, a business card holder, is being transported from one production line to the next and the logistic dead time is put to productive use. The images are transferred to the cloud via 5G technology where they are checked by special evaluation software.

The result of the quality control check is transmitted to the transport system and the FTS navigation is regulated accordingly: if all is well, the product arrives at the next production line for automated processing. On the other hand, if a fault is detected, the product can be redirected to the manual workstation for manual reworking. In day-to-day production operations, such an approach allows for the early detection of rejects and prevents the use of cost intensive manufacturing resources on bad parts. Furthermore, production efficiency increases.

Parallel to the quality control checks, the FTS scans the surrounding area during transport by means of the installed 360-degree camera. This data transmission is also only possible using a high bandwidth, which is the limiting factor for conventional wireless solutions such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth®. Additional forms of added value during the transport process are also available. There are many ways to achieve added value and avoid dead time in logistics processes, for example, performing a software update or a 3-D print. Thanks to the use of new network management tools, the 5G technology now enables multiple applications to run simultaneously.

The partners involved in the Industrie 4.0 demonstrator at SmartFactoryKL are: Belden/Hirschmann, Bosch Rexroth, B&R Automation, EPLAN Software & Service, Festo, HARTING, Huawei, IBM, KIST Europe, LAPP KABEL, METTLER TOLEDO, MiniTec, PHOENIX CONTACT, Pilz, proALPHA, SAP, Siemens, TÜV SÜD, and Weidmüller.

About the Technologie-Initiative SmartFactory KL e.V.:

The SmartFactoryKL technology initiative was established as a non-profit organization in 2005, bringing together for the first time industrial and research partners in an Industrie 4.0 network to implement joint projects for the factories of the future. SmartFactoryKL is a unique, manufacturer-independent demonstrator and research vehicle located at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Kaiserslautern. Promising innovative Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are evaluated and further developed in a realistic industrial production environment on site. Products and solutions as well as universal standards in the areas of Industrie 4.0 have already been developed at the technology initiative with the active participation of its members. Together with other regional competence suppliers, SmartFactoryKL was recognized by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and designated as SME 4.0 Competence Centrum Kaiserslautern.

About the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI):

The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, with sites in Kaiserslautern, Saarbrücken, Bremen (with an associated branch in Osnabrück) and a project office in Berlin, is the leading German research institute in the field of innovative software technology. In the international scientific community, DFKI ranks among the most recognized “Centers of Excellence” and currently is the biggest research center worldwide in the area of Artificial Intelligence and its application in terms of number of employees and the volume of external funds. The financial budget in 2016 was 44.1 million Euro. DFKI projects cover the whole spectrum from application-oriented basic research to market- and client-oriented design of product functions. 519 employees from 60 countries are currently conducting research focusing on Smart Data & Knowledge Services, Cyber-Physical Systems, Multilingual Technologies, Plan-Based Robot Control, Educational Technology Lab, Interactive Textiles, Robotics, Innovative Retail, Information Systems, Embedded Intelligence, Smart Service Engineering, Intelligent Analytics for Massive Data, Intelligent Networks, Agents and Simulated Reality, Augmented Vision, Language Technology, Intelligent User interfaces, and Innovative Factory Systems. Impact: more than 100 professorships of former DFKI employees, and more than 70 spin-off companies with approximately 2,500 highly qualified jobs.

Press Contact:

Dr. Haike Frank 
Head of Pubic Relations Department
Technologie-Initiative SmartFactory KL e.V.

Trippstadter Straße 122

67663 Kaiserslautern
T: +49 631 20575 3406

M: frank@smartfactory.de

Christian Heyer

Head of DFKI Corporate Communications
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI) GmbH

Trippstadter Straße 122

67663 Kaiserslautern
T: +49 631 20575 1710
M: uk-kl@dfki.de

https://cloud.dfki.de/owncloud/index.php/s/nikj42FcexDqCV5 Photo download link
https://www.dfki.de/web/presse/pressemitteilung/2018/hm2018 more press releases regarding DFKI and SmartFactoryKL at Hannover Messe 2018
http://smartfactory.de/en/ Homepage of SmartFactoryKL
http://www.dfki.de/en DFKI Homepage

Media Contact

Christian Heyer DFKI Kaiserslautern idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

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