The existing 4th generation mobile communication standards (LTE+ and LTE Advanced) are still capable of satisfying the bandwidth requirements of normal smartphone users. It is industry that is yearning for the launch of 5G – due to the fact that industrial users place demands that existing networks cannot possibly fulfil.
Data transfer rates are not the prime criterion. Other factors (e.g. latency and connection stability) will ensure that 5G provides a credible alternative to conventional wired connections.
Other key benefits of 5G – such as the large number of potential users in a small area (up to one million IoT devices per square kilometre) and the low transmission power requirements – have captured the imagination of engineers and strategists and prompted the development of new applications and business models.
The 5G Arena (Hall 16, D38) embraces an exhibition, a forum and a conference. The focus will be on which solutions are currently available and which obstacles still have to be overcome.
Live presentation of 5G applications
A joint project realized by Nokia, Qualcomm and Deutsche Messe, the 5G Arena is a genuine indoor 5G network that enables exhibitors to demonstrate the capabilities of this new communication standard. Bosch, for example, will be presenting its APAS robot, which has been certified for fenceless human-robot collaboration. A mobile version of this robot is available – so it makes sense to establish a wireless connection with the control unit. Without 5G it would be impossible to comply fully with the extremely high statutory safety requirements.
The Zeiss AICell (Automated Inspection) is widely deployed in bodywork construction applications and combines 2D and 3D measurements in order to monitor the quality of each assembly step. This means that large quantities of data need to be transferred – with minimum latency – to an edge cloud for further processing. So far the direct control of the inspection robots has depended on a wired connection. At Hannover Zeiss will demonstrate how 5G can pave the way to full wireless control.
Support for installation and operation
Apart from a few pilot projects Germany has yet to create any industrial 5G-networks. This is about to change. According to Lutz Rauchhaupt, Technical Manager at the Institute for Automation and Communication (Ifak) in Magdeburg, many enterprises are asking themselves “What performance will I get for my application?” In his lecture (Thursday, 4.4., 12.30 p.m.) he will focus on the closer integration of in-factory automation systems and external communication solutions. This poses new challenges to users in terms of testing, verification and responsibilities when safeguarding the functionality of the production installation as a whole. The Ifak will present a “live” performance measuring tool which can emulate changes to the operating conditions (e.g. additional data quantities generated by new applications and devices).
Rohde & Schwarz assists enterprises with the creation of campus networks. The company’s Technology Manager, Meik Kottkamp, will talk in the forum about the challenges of performing over-the-air tests without the availability of a cable backup. From his viewpoint as a measurement technology specialist he will also describe how to achieve 5G coverage on factory sites without interrupting ongoing production operations (Thursday, 4.4., 10.30 a.m.).
Strategic considerations: private or public networks?
Industry is faced with a choice: to create private networks on factory premises (subject to the approval of the regulatory authorities), or to use the public networks. Ulrich Rehfuess, Head of Spectrum Policy at Nokia Networks, will present specific examples of collaboration in his lecture (Tuesday, 2.4., 12.30 p.m.) and will outline how 5G can deliver a win-win situation for industry and providers
Siegfried Richter from Siemens’ Process Industries and Drives Division has compared three different sectors – container logistics, vehicle manufacturing and energy distribution – with regard to public and private 5G networks (criteria: coverage, reliability and data protection). He will be presenting his findings on Tuesday, 2.4., at 12.00 noon.
Full spectrum of 5G applications
This is just a small selection of the exhibitors and speakers at HANNOVER MESSE. The industry association 5G-ACIA, which has teamed up with Deutsche Messe to launch the 5G Arena, will be represented at the show together with industrial automation specialists, technology suppliers and service enterprises. 5G will also be on the agenda outside Hall 16. The exhibit line-up will include companies which deploy edge clouds in order to realize artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR), as well as producers of autonomous transport vehicles guided by mobile phone signals. In short, HANNOVER MESSE 2019 will showcase a full spectrum of 5G applications.