Hannover Messe 2022: Fraunhofer IPT and Ericsson support manufacturing companies get started with 5G

Press Release /

For several years now, 5G has promised to improve production by enabling the monitoring of process flows or, for example, the control of mobile robots in real time. There are numerous companies with an interest in 5G, but many lack the know-how and resources to take the first steps. The Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen has therefore designed a "5G Portfolio", an offering that supports companies on their journey to 5G production, created with Ericsson’s Private 5G network solution. The 5G portfolio ranges from evaluation and testing of various use cases, to in-house network planning and installation. Companies also can test a mobile 5G test system on their own shop floors. The system is provided to the Fraunhofer IPT by Ericsson. This is particularly attractive for small and medium-sized companies, where the initial costs represent a hurdle and the added values of 5G must first be proven.

© Fraunhofer IPT
The mobile 5G test system enables companies to test the potential of 5G for their own production and use cases without having to bear high initial costs.
© Fraunhofer IPT

"Try before buy" is the motto of the Fraunhofer IPT when it comes to supporting manufacturing companies in their introduction to 5G. With their "5G portfolio", the researchers in Aachen offer a support package consisting of three tiers of service level, enabling companies to test their own use cases of a 5G system.

The "5G-Start" tier is aimed at companies that have had little or no contact with 5G technology to date: They are given the opportunity to spend a day getting to know the technology and possible use cases up close at the 5G-Industry Campus Europe in Aachen. In dialogue with the researchers, companies can identify their own areas of application and determine the economic potential.

In the "5G Expert" tier, companies receive further concrete advice on how to set up their own 5G network: The Fraunhofer IPT provides a 5G private network. With "Ericsson Private 5G"solution companies can test their own 5G applications over a longer period of time under the guidance of the experts from Aachen, without having to install their own system straight away. The private network utilizes up to three radio cells simultaneously, providing several thousand square meters of 5G coverage. One cell can also be used outdoors. "This is a unique opportunity for companies to practically test 5G on their own shop floors without having to immediately make the large investment of their own 5G network. We take over the construction and commissioning of the network in the process", says Niels König, coordinator of the 5G Industry Campus Europe. The performance of the mobile 5G network is up to one gigabit per second and a latency of 10 milliseconds.

The Fraunhofer IPT shows companies exactly how to set up their own network in the "5G Professional" tier: This service-level is aimed at companies that have already gained initial experience with 5G and now want to get started with the technology. The Fraunhofer IPT offers the opportunity to use state-of-the-art measurement technology to characterize the performance and quality of network coverage on site. Researchers also provide support for its implementation of various use cases.

5G-Industry Campus Europe: Infrastructure for applied research on connected, adaptive production

Since 2017, the Fraunhofer IPT has been investigating the use of 5G in industrial production. In 2019 the scientists from Aachen, together with Ericsson, have installed and commissioned the "5G-Industry Campus Europe", one of the world's first industrial 5G research networks on the Campus Melaten of RWTH Aachen University. Since then, the partners have been researching the requirements of a 5G network in a production context and associated use cases in the areas of sensor technology, robotics, logistics and cross-site production chains on an outdoor and indoor network of almost one square kilometer.

The Fraunhofer IPT will be showcasing the 5G portfolio at the Hannover Messe from May 30 to June 2, 2022 at the Fraunhofer joint booth in Hall 5, Booth A06. Interested parties can find out more about "Ericsson Private 5G" at the Ericsson booth in Hall 8, Booth D23.