Smart factories

Industries are under constant pressure – to improve product quality, boost factory efficiency, stay competitive, enhance safety, security and sustainability, and remain profitable. Continuing to drive operational efficiencies through traditional cost-cutting measures now provides only marginal gains.

Industry 4.0 is about the significant transformation taking place in the way goods are produced and delivered – moving toward industrial automation and the flexible factory. To stay competitive, factories and warehouses must leverage 5G networks, the industrial internet of things, and digitisation to become much more agile and efficient.

While industries have automated many processes, secure wireless connectivity empowers automation on a much larger scale. By creating a digital foundation, industrial automation will increase productivity and performance.

Huge gains await industries that cut the cord and go wireless. Wireless cellular connectivity supports the business outcomes that industry expects from Industry 4.0. For instance, in manufacturing, it enables flexible production by allowing smart factories to rapidly changeover production lines to shorten lead times.

Cellular connectivity and 5G can address multiple challenges in a factory and warehousing context: from massive internet-of-things cases that include sensors and asset management with limited bandwidth needs to industrial automation cases such as collaborative robotics and advanced automation and control.

Ericsson’s point of view is that manufacturers can, and should, explore the full range of cellular connectivity, and plan to introduce 5G NR (New Radio air interface) connectivity over time. By doing this they can re-use higher performing LTE and NR networks to tackle increasingly complex use cases in the same segments.

Industry, inovation and infrastructure
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