How to optimize manufacturing in the 5G era?
Ubiquitous demand and rigid demand
As we all know, the industrial control network and management network of a traditional manufacturing plant belong to the intranet. We can understand it as a closed network, after all, it is inaccessible to the outside world. With the spread of the concept of Industry 4.0 and the development and application of domestic smart manufacturing, factories need internal networks to communicate with external networks. From the actual situation, manufacturers in the textile, toy, food packaging and other industries tend to flatten their internal communication networks and functional architecture.
According to industry insiders, the existing industrial wireless solutions cannot meet the needs of smart factories. The only hope that is pinned on is 5G, and some traditional factories are transforming and upgrading, and must adopt the industrial scene of wireless communication. For example, it is extremely inconvenient to renovate wiring in old factories; production sites in fields such as oil production and oil and gas pipelines are too far away, and work sites with harsh environments such as corrosion and salt spray.
Demand for 5G communication in industrial applications
For industrial applications, transmission rate and bandwidth are not the only decisive factors. To be truly applicable to industrial networks, its performance indicators need to be deterministic, real-time, usable, and reliable. The end-to-end transmission delay of the communication system has the maximum limit, and the system handles and responds to external affairs within a limited time, which is deterministic and real-time. Determinism and real-time complement each other, and the combination of the two indicates that the data transmission time in the industrial network is deterministic and predictable.
The industrial site is a very rigorous system. In production, under given conditions, the ability of the machine to be in a certain state and perform the required functions within a predetermined time or time interval is extremely important. This is related to the production cost issue, that is, 5G The availability of the network in industrial applications. The third is reliability, which specifically refers to the probability that the transmitted message will reach the final destination intact and undamaged within an acceptable delay.
The industrial site environment is generally harsh, such as high temperature, humidity, dust, electromagnetic interference, etc. It is easy to cause unstable equipment operation and communication quality, which affects manufacturing. In other words, when 5G is applied to the industrial field, the network itself must be extremely resistant to interference. In addition, the demand for 5G in industrial applications also has security. Leakage of factory data is fatal in itself.
How does 5G make manufacturing more optimized?
Since it is industrial 4.0, it is different from labor-intensive manufacturing. The use of robots and the collaboration between machines are the main scenarios. The traditional industrial communication adopts the master-slave type, and realizes the communication between the machine and the machine through the master control equipment such as PLC. The application of 5G will greatly improve the communication between machines and make it more efficient.
In terms of factory logistics, 5G makes it possible for logistics and distribution vehicles in parks and factory areas to realize autonomous driving. In terms of remote operation and maintenance of large-scale manufacturing equipment, 5G can transmit more unstructured data. For example, video can be used to quickly understand the situation of the industrial site, and it can also quickly feedback the situation when operating the machine. In the future, unmanned or few-person factories will need a large amount of on-site data to make decision support. The characteristics of ultra-high bandwidth, low latency, and ultra-large connections can effectively solve the problem of flexible manufacturing.