5G Could Accelerate Adoption of Smart Factory Solutions
5G could be a key factor driving the growth of smart factory solutions. Smart factories, sometimes referred to as industry 4.0, use a combination of connected devices, data and artificial intelligence to make manufacturing more flexible and responsive. Analysts predict that 5G will be a key enabler of smart factory adoption since it offers higher speed and bandwidth as well as low latency. This could enable more organizations to make use of smart factory solutions like warehouse automation, autonomous guided vehicles, augmented reality, condition based monitoring and automated assembly lines.
Several companies have begun developing 5G enabled smart factory technologies. Ericsson has been working on 5G infrastructure equipment at its 5G connected plant in Texas. The first millimeter wave Street Macros base stations were assembled at the factory earlier this year. Mitsubishi Electric has also been experimenting with 5G networks to power human machine interfaces for manufacturing. In South Korea several major telecommunications operators including SK Telecom, KT Corp and LG Uplus Corp have developed 5G enabled smart factory solutions to assist SMEs in boosting their manufacturing output and cutting costs.
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