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5G isn’t your standard Industry 4.0 technology. This new generation of wireless technology is completely invisible, but its speed, connectivity and capacity will open up digital transformation opportunities for manufacturers like never before.

Here, Made Smarter Industrial Digital Technology Adviser Kevin Smith explores how.

Kevin's Blog
  • What 5G would bring to manufacturing

    Let me start with a definition of latency: this is how long devices take to respond to an instruction to perform an action. Manufacturing technologies need ultra-short latency periods. 5G can provide these, along with high data rates and a dependable, powerful broadband transmission. Simply put, 5G ensures industrial digital technologies can perform at their best, resulting in more flexible, enhanced manufacturing factories.

    Makers will be able to benefit from 5G in other ways too. They can monitor production remotely, and maintain video feeds from the factory floor. This will give them the ability to respond faster to changes outside of their normal processes. Ultimately, all these advantages will lead to better efficiency and economic growth for the manufacturing industry.

    So whilst 5G isn’t really a thing for manufacturing SMEs yet, when it is introduced, it’ll be an invisible tech. It will work silently in the background, enabling other technologies – such as mobile robots, autonomous vehicles, the Industrial Internet of Things, augmented reality for maintenance technicians, and virtual reality apps. You could say that it’ll bring Industry 4.0 to life!

  • 5G use cases in manufacturing - so far

    Industry 4.0 relies heavily on connectivity. By boosting this, 5G will bring about quicker response times that the more advanced technologies such as AI demand. Systems can share the data they gather more quickly, which will be particularly useful in cases such as self-driving cars.

    What I’ve noticed is that manufacturers aren’t really using 5G yet, but other industries are already employing it more in their operations and processes – like healthcare. Better connectivity can help improve the remote monitoring of patients. There is, perhaps, a lot of inspiration we can take from other sectors.

    Having said this, some large manufacturers are actually creating their own private 5G networks. There is also an Industrial 5G Accelerator programme, aimed at fast-tracking the implementation of 5G and pinpointing smart manufacturing opportunities. It’s testing 5G-powered technologies including robotics, AR, condition-based monitoring, asset tracking and predictive maintenance.

    The programme will help to understand 5G’s capabilities in manufacturing and assess where it works well – so watch this space for further use cases in the future.

  • Support to implement 5G-powered technologies

    I think it’s clear to see that 5G is the future, even if its adoption takes a little longer than originally anticipated. It’ll become an essential consideration on your journey to digitalisation.

    As for now, you can access those new technologies that will benefit from 5G, such as AR, robotics, and systems that rely on real-time data. These will enable you to digitally transform your business and reap the rewards, including boosted efficiency, increased productivity, and reduced costs.

    Unsure if this is the right tool for you? Or perhaps you’re looking for a little guidance to implement it successfully? Made Smarter can help. We can support you in developing a digital transformation strategy, assist you in securing up to 50% match-funding, and give specialist guidance on the most suitable technologies for your business.

    So if you’re looking to take your first step into Industry 4.0 technologies or preparing for 5G so that you can fully reap its benefits, please get in touch. Speak to a Made Smarter adviser today.

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