Ericsson, TIM and Comau test 'factory of the future' thanks to 5G network slicing

TURIN, Italy – Thanks to TIM and Ericsson's deployment of a 5G network at Comau's headquarters in Turin (Italy), three new applications have been launched to demonstrate the advantages of the new technology, and in particular those arising from the slicing functionality of the network, within an industrial environment. "Network Slice," is a virtual logical network slice of 5G that can support different application cases with special characteristics and requirements. The same physical 5G network can therefore have multiple slices, each dedicated to specific services or customers, thus offering greater flexibility, an efficient use of network resources, and more opportunities for companies to deploy differentiated services with specific requirements for speed, latency and reliability.

The experiment's first use case captures the movement of a robot and through an ultra-low latency radio link, produces a synchronized digital twin. The movement of the mechanical robot and the respective virtual renderings are perfectly aligned in time. Furthermore, as the central system is constantly updated, it can consequently decide which production process is most convenient. while controlling all the function parameters.

The second application focuses on the real-time monitoring of industrial assets. Data is captured from a massive number of sensors and sent to an application that uses the acquired data to improve predictive maintenance planning, production processes and quality. Through the integration with Comau's in.Grid digital platform, effective recognition of deviations from normal operation can be fixed in a timely manner. Similarly, remote support and access to cloud-based resources, such as high-definition videos and live connections with Augmented Reality devices, strongly reduce the repair time in case of failure.

The third use case demonstrates immersive telepresence for an enhanced remote support scenario. Maintenance staff present on site are assisted remotely by an expert in order to resolve problems, taking advantage of both augmented reality (AR) and digital tutorials. Thanks to the high bandwidth capacity of 5G, it is possible for the operator to share what he sees in real time with remote experts, which translates to time and cost reducing benefits.

The European Union-funded 5Growth (5G-enabled Growth in Vertical Industries) project deals with the development of 5G solutions capable of meeting the rigorous requirements of major industry verticals such as Industry 4.0, Transportation, and Energy, following a field-based-trial approach. Started in 2019, the project represents a further step forward in the long-standing partnership among Ericsson, TIM and Comau.

Read the full press release here.


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