Achema 2022: Fraunhofer IPT shows advantages of a smart, networked value chain with 5G for the process industry
5G already holds enormous advantages for the manufacturing industry, as process sequences can be monitored or mobile robots controlled in real time. But the process industry could also benefit from the new mobile technology: smart sensors can be used to monitor processing operations and predict the probability of component failure. To make the advantages of 5G for the process industry visible, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT from Aachen is installing and hosting a 5G mobile system for the first time at Achema, the leading trade fair for the process industry. The Aachen-based scientists are using a newly developed prototype to illustrate how the status of a pumping system can be monitored in real time. The prototype can be viewed at Achema in Frankfurt from August 22 to 26, 2022, at 5G-ACIA in Hall 11, Booth E3.
Improving workflows, increasing efficiency and reducing operational costs - this is the target of companies in the process industry, where raw materials are extracted, transported and processed into higher-value end products through physical, mechanical or chemical processes. Here too, wireless communication technologies are becoming increasingly useful, for example to facilitate maintenance work. 5G is aimed primarily at industrial applications with smart sensors and autonomous vehicles as well as automated production processes. Data security can be well ensured in a dedicated industrial network.
Fraunhofer IPT and Ericsson provide support for 5G rollout
Numerous companies with an interest in 5G still lack the know-how and resources to take the first steps towards introducing this technology. The Fraunhofer IPT is therefore now providing industrial companies with a mobile 5G system from mobile communications equipment supplier Ericsson. This enables them to test their own 5G applications without having to invest in their own 5G infrastructure straight away. The Fraunhofer IPT is presenting and hosting the mobile 5G network for the first time at Achema.
"We want to show companies that it is possible to configure, operate and manage a 5G network in the simplest way possible," says Niels König, coordinator of the 5G-Industry Campus Europe in Aachen.
5G multisensor prototype for pump systems in the process industry
Since 2017, the Fraunhofer IPT has been investigating the use of 5G in an industrial context - initially for production, but now also with a focus on other industries: The newly developed prototype for the Achema trade fair shows a smart 5G multisensor integrated into a pump system. The sensor measures the vibration of the pump and the temperature of the motor in real time. In this way, if the motor overheats or the pump system is defective, it can react immediately and stop the process in time for repairs or maintenance. This is even possible in places where data connectivity cannot be provided or can only be provided at great expense.
"The process industry is characterized by widely distributed, large-scale areas, and tens of thousands of instrumentation and control devices. Bringing connectivity to every place and every device in a factory is a huge challenge. Our 5G multisensor can be deployed in a modular way, capture a wide variety of physical parameters, and transmit data wirelessly over 5G," says Janina Knußmann, research fellow at Fraunhofer IPT.
The prototype will be presented to the trade fair public at Achema from August 22 to 26, 2022, at the 5G-ACIA booth in Hall 11, Booth E3.