Securing the future of Industry 4.0 with 5G

The 5G wireless communication is a significant innovation in manufacturing, for example, in smart production, networked machines, remote sensors, and even intelligent mobility. Several months ago SmartFactoryKL began testing the use of the latest generation of 5G mobile networks for real-time transmission of large amounts of data on its Industry 4.0 demo production plant. SmartFactoryKL and the Innovative Factory Systems research department of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) will exhibit the latest technologies in the area of Industrie 4.0 at SPS IPC Drives Trade Fair, (Hall 5, Booth 446) on November 27-29, 2018.

We must act quickly because the 5G frequencies will be assigned early next year and the first products will hit the market in near serial production. It is essential to gain experience as fast as possible. If we are not fast enough, we will lose an important area of technology in the context of Industrie 4.0,” said Prof. Dr. Detlef Zühlke, Chairman of the Board of Management of SmartFactoryKL, about the 5G mobile networks.

For this reason, the technology initiative works intensively with its member companies on the topic of 5G. Our activities target SMEs, the group of companies so important for German industry and not structured to implement such solutions independently. “One solution is the Campus Model, where several resident companies “share a license.” This and other solutions require joint development. To advance this purpose, we contribute the SmartFactoryKLnetwork,” said Zühlke.

Since spring, 5G has been in use at the Industrie 4.0 plant at SmartFactoryKL. Together with an international telecommunications partner, tests are under way for the transmission and evaluation of large amounts of data in the cloud. This is possible thanks to the realistic factory environment of the demonstrator unit. “Together with SmartFactoryKL and its associates, we at DFKI are developing and evaluating various use scenarios for 5G in a production environment”, added Prof. Dr. Martin Ruskowski, Head of the Innovative Factory Systems department at DFKI.

Visitors to the SmartFactoryKL booth can learn more about the following topics at SPS 2018:

Security with 5G

With the support of Flexible Transport Systems (FTS), we show how communication with a mobile robot is implemented using 5G wireless technology. Of special interest is the transfer of the Profisafe-based secure packets: It clearly demonstrates the low latency and jitter, which is what makes 5G a practical means of wireless communication in the factory of the future. The transfer of safety data via 5G enables the integration of the Flexible Transport System into the safety logic of the entire system. In this case, the assignment of the FTS to a production station is position-dependent and a component of the emergency stop circuit.

TSN (Time-Sensitive Networking)

The technological advantages of TSN are explained featuring a cable cutting process on the TSN demonstrator at SmartFactoryKL. The process requires the time synchronized control of two motors to ensure a regular feed of the cable. A simulated overload of the network shows how process reliability can be ensured by prioritizing the control signals.

Edge Devices

At the SPS 2018 booth, live data generated by the SmartFactoryKL Industrie 4.0 production plant is processed to show the potential of edge devices for the smart upgrading of brownfield systems. Different scenarios are presented to show how the depth of integration in existing work units can impact the type and quality of the data.