5G and AI - an inseparable pair for Industry 4.0

The integration of the 5G mobile communications standard has revolutionised the potential uses of modern technologies for companies. The use of 5G networks is particularly interesting when combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Companies proficiently integrating these two technologies and creating innovative applications can harness a multitude of potential applications of 5G technology in the future. The synergy of 5G and AI presents the prospect of establishing new benchmarks across various aspects of life and work, significantly enhancing transformation opportunities for businesses. Below, we present an overview of the opportunities afforded by this powerful combination.


Optimised work processes with 5G and AI

Industry 4.0 has significantly increased the volume of data on the factory floor. More and more companies are collecting and utilising this data to develop innovative production and manufacturing services.

Possible scenarios:

  • Predictive maintenance is based on the continuous monitoring of relevant operating data such as mechanical and thermal loads. Combined with the usual quality checks of the goods produced, this enables companies to better plan and optimise the maintenance intervals of their machines and robots.
  • In order to use alternative methods to optimise the transport flow, companies are using artificial intelligence to monitor automated guided vehicles (AGVs). These AI systems are able to recognise blocked aisles or regularly occurring bottlenecks via the surveillance cameras attached to the AGVs. The information is then transmitted via the 5G network to the central control system, which then optimises the routes of the AGVs.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) is of great importance in troubleshooting. If an automated guided vehicle or an automated robotic arm behaves abnormally or incorrectly, the AI recognises the deviation with the help of the integration of a 5G network and camera observations. The AI then analyses the observed problem and initiates suitable troubleshooting measures.

These application scenarios are used in various sectors such as transport, logistics and industrial production. What they have in common is that they rely on the processing of data in order to generate recommendations or enable autonomous action. In this context, a reliable 5G network plays a crucial role in ensuring the real-time transmission of large amounts of data processed by artificial intelligence. The high speed and low latency of 5G ensure efficient communication between sensors, devices and the AI infrastructure. As a result, data can be collected and analysed in real time in order to make quick and precise decisions.


AI needs resources - the challenge of increasing data volumes

In modern industrial environments, such as the smart factory, logistics centres, transport and retail, the volume of data is constantly increasing. This is particularly a consequence of Industry 4.0, which is prompting more and more companies to collect data and utilise it for innovative production services.

To meet the demands of an increasing influx of data, companies are confronted with the task of enhancing storage and computing capacities. Rather than outfitting each machine, vehicle, or robot with powerful controllers (PLCs) or industrial PCs, opting for the cost-effective alternative of outsourcing AI functions to edge servers frequently proves to be a more economical choice.

Edge servers positioned at the edge of the production area (shop floor) offer numerous advantages:

  • Flexibility and scalability: These servers are flexibly scalable and easy to manage, which reduces resource consumption and saves space.
  • Alternative to public cloud solutions: More and more companies are seeing edge servers as an alternative to remote public cloud solutions, which are often associated with uncertainties regarding WAN availability and failure risks.
  • Development as part of the MEC concept: Numerous server providers have developed suitable solutions for MEC concepts (Multi-Access Edge Computing), often in collaboration with network manufacturers.

5G networks and AI in mobile applications

Recognising the significance of 5G and AI in mobile applications is crucial, given the array of key benefits they bring. Enhanced signal propagation, achievable through professional planning, is particularly noteworthy in challenging environments like shipyards where unwanted radio reflections may occur due to large steel surfaces.

Moreover, 5G facilitates seamless switching of radio cells, a vital feature for autonomous vehicles navigating extensive company premises. Wireless networking via 5G proves to be an ideal solution for environments where production or logistics processes frequently adapt to varying order requirements. Lastly, 5G serves as a reliable backup solution for wired infrastructures, ensuring continuous operational readiness. Explore the synergies of 5G and AI for optimal outcomes in your mobile applications.

While the capabilities of the technology are one aspect, the real-world outcomes depend significantly on the interaction between various network components. To seamlessly integrate an AI application on edge servers into manufacturing and production processes, companies must establish a fitting system architecture on the server side. Subsequently, the integration into both the company's (wired) core network and the RAN infrastructure of the wireless network is essential. This ensures efficient management of the entire infrastructure, guaranteeing sustained performance during operation. Explore the practical implications of technology by optimising the interaction between network components.


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Xantaro Deutschland GmbH
Xantaro's team of experts consists of highly qualified professionals from various disciplines who research the latest trends in the network technology industry with passion and expertise.

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