5G in Manufacturing & How it Benefits Businesses
To put this into something measurable, to download the average HD movie, it would take approximately 50 minutes on a stable 4G connection, on 5G, it would take 9. The amount of information being passed over the network increases hugely, as does the capability of the systems using that data.
This is where the excitement (for the geeks in manufacturing or people like me) start, what can we do with this? Where will 5G in manufacturing help?
Automation and Industrial Control systems are touted as the newest focus areas of improvement in Industrial 4.0 with newer technologies like 5G making this more of a reality for a number of companies. IoT is all around us, our daily life is connected in a number of aspects, but, factories don’t always utilize this, with low latency high speed connection like 5G, areas like routine maintenance and calibration, can now be performed by robots, and live data can be utilized to analyze and monitor the data and outputs to ensure everything is running smoothly. This would save time for operations staff which can be invested elsewhere, minimizes human error and paper trials, in turn saving long term costs for any manufacturer.
This is just one small example amongst many, there are countless businesses that will be developing solutions based on the 5G network, with a proposed addressable market value of 113 billion by 2026, the uses and solutions are only just being explored, and I am sure there is much more to come for this sector.
There will obviously be effects to this downstream, staff utilization will be re-aligned, there will be an upskilling and training of engineers to adapt and work with newer machinery and technology. I myself used to see robotics and automation as a threat, but the reality is, the manufacturing industry does need to continuously change and adapt itself to become better and enhance it’s performance, it is not a threat to the staff in this sector, more of a redevelopment of their current skills and capabilities.
So with this in mind, why not just go out and hire a bunch of automation engineers and an entire new team?
While this technology is exciting, and the reality is that ANCOR Industrial have noticed a significant increase in assignments for this sector, the cost of manufacturing in countries such as Thailand is still considered significantly lower to other countries, and the reality is that these machines and technology is costly, so while is does return cost, there is a rather significant start up investment needed.
The other realization I have had is that Automation and Robotics are possible with the current generation of internet speeds and connectivity – does that make 5G a gimmick or an unnecessary tool?
It seems all we can do is wait with anticipation to see how this new technology is marketed and to really understand the difference it will make, and obviously with any new technologies you need people that have a different skill set, for which, you can reach myself or my colleagues in ANCOR to discuss more about.
If you are reading this message, thank you very much for the time, please feel free to connect with me via linkedin, email, or you can drop me a call, I’m always around to catch up with people and am very passionate about talking through topics such as this.
Daniel Bull, Eastern Seaboard Project Manager