Hannover Messe 2024: Fraunhofer IPT showcases 5G potential for intelligent industrial control

Press Release /

Connectivity, edge computing and precise control of automation systems are crucial for competitiveness in many industrial sectors: They improve efficiency, enable real-time communication between machines and systems and create new opportunities for integrating robotics into conventional production processes. At this year's Hannover Messe from April 22 to 26 in Hall 14, Stand H06 (30), the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT from Aachen will demonstrate the potential of new technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence and the digital twin for industry in a playful way at the "5G-Kicker" foosball table.

Digital twin of the 5G kicker
© Fraunhofer IPT
The AI trains on countless digital twins of the 5G kicker to analyze different match scenarios and improve strategy.

The combination of 5G, digital twin and artificial intelligence (AI) promises to have a significant impact on the future development of industry. The Fraunhofer IPT is demonstrating this potential at Hannover Messe with its "5G-Kicker": The figures in the soccer game are controlled by an AI that was trained using a digital twin of the real soccer table. The rapid interaction of the human opponents with the soccer table requires fast processing, which is made possible by 5G.

After the game is before the game: Artificial intelligence trains in the digital twin for continuous process optimization

The 5G-Kicker's AI reacts in real time to the actions of its human counterpart and continuously optimizes its game strategy. This dynamic adaptation behavior is also used in industry: AI-supported algorithms enable predictive quality control by processing large amounts of data. The digital twin provides the training space in which such AI algorithms can be trained. The AI simulates millions of scenarios in a very short time and evaluates the results in order to develop optimal strategies. This saves resources and avoids security risks in the real world, as errors in the virtual environment have no consequences. For example, optimal operating points for industrial processes and machines can be found automatically to reduce energy consumption or increase throughput. The algorithms continue to improve through continuous machine learning. As a result, product waste can be reduced and costs can be saved. Eine Voraussetzung dafür ist eine hochwertige Datenbasis, die mithilfe der 5G-Technologie direkt im Betrieb nahezu in Echtzeit erfasst werden kann.

Real-time control on the Shopfloor with 5G

Where conventional wired solutions cannot be used due to moving parts or limited space, 5G with wireless sensor technology enables data acquisition directly at the process. 5G technology also offers the short latency times required to ensure precise and safe control of machines, systems and robots, even over long distances. The ability to react in real time to the measurement data from the built-in sensors forms the basis for adaptive control of complex motion sequences.

The 5G-Kicker highlights what such a system can achieve within an independent and isolated 5G and edge cloud infrastructure - at the trade show, for example, as well as within a company: What is known as a 5G campus network is specifically tailored to a limited area and to the requirements of a company in that area. In combination with an edge cloud, a local data center that keeps data on the company's premises, it offers complete control over the company's own IT infrastructure. With this private infrastructure, companies can securely integrate, simulate and analyze production data and AI decisions in combination with the digital twin. In the real world of the enterprise, the synergy of the three technologies combined in the 5G-Kicker creates an agile and intelligent production environment.

The researchers from Aachen will have the 5G Kicker ready for a match from April 22 to 26 at the Hannover Messe in hall 14, booth H06 (30) and will be happy to inform visitors about real application scenarios in industrial use.