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Three major drivers of Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is closer than you may think

By Douglas BurnhamPublished about a year ago 3 min read
Three major drivers of Industry 4.0
Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

The phrase "Industry 4.0" refers to the seismic shifts in manufacturing that will occur as a result of the real-time application of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and the Internet of Things to sophisticated manufacturing techniques and factory automation (IoT). Efficiency gains should be comparable to the introduction of automated industry in the 1700s or the first use of electricity a century later.

Industry 4.0 is getting a lot of attention because of the advanced robotics, drones, and sensors that will make smart factories seem like something out of a science fiction movie, but that is just half of the tale. Three cutting-edge technologies are being employed behind the scenes to enable a "central nervous system" to link and manage smart manufacturing components in real time.

Personal 5G

The bandwidth and extremely low latency needed for high density machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, with data rates ranging from 1 to 20 Gb/sec, can only be provided by 5G wireless. This links the advancement of 5G technology to that of smart factories. The first and most crucial pillar of Industry 4.0 is specifically private 5G networks, developed and run for and by private firms.

With hundreds of thousands of industrial IoT sensors embedded in the infrastructure, tools, and equipment of factories, private 5G networks may be designed to improve qualities like dependability, security, and mobility. Private 5G networks that operate independently enable businesses to protect their intellectual property.

Even though Private 5G has several advantages, building and maintaining their own networks poses logistical difficulties for manufacturers. Alternatives like hybrid 5G networks (shared RAN), which use a public network's radio access network and spectrum but keep the enterprise's own services in-house, lessen some of this load. Through the deployment of affordable, short-range tiny cells that can be installed just about anyplace, private 5G in interior environments may also be made simpler.

Edge Computing

One use for edge computing, Industry 4.0's second enabler, is hybrid networks. The analysis, processing, and storing of data that was previously done at the Core data center are now closer to the use case thanks to this distributed data center paradigm. Data is screened at the point of use in hybrid networks to ensure that no private corporate information ever reaches the public network. For smart factories that rely on split-second processing, transportation, and maintenance decisions, edge computing lowers latency and boosts computing capacity.

With Industry 4.0, predictive maintenance is elevated to a new level as real-time sensor data is utilized to anticipate equipment problems and immediately take action with equipment shutdowns or repairs. A key component of smart factories and other industrial settings, augmented reality will enable employees in risky conditions to include environmental data or professional support via an AR/VR device. Only edge computing can deliver the 20ms latency needed for these applications.

Instantaneous spectrum analysis

The spectrum analyzer has been a crucial device for determining signal strength and frequency for more than 50 years. Spectrum analysis is now the third crucial pillar in the implementation and assurance of Industry 4.0. The high frequency millimeter wave is one of the frequency bands that 5G operates in, hence RF spectrum analysis is crucial for checking for interference and confirming the signal. Innovative persistence spectrum analysis is needed for 5G time division duplex (TDD) transmission to distinguish in-band transmissions from low level interference.

Spectrum analysis is used by private 5G networks for smart factories to track how well network slices operate when they collide with other wireless and terrestrial signals. When bands that were previously utilized for other purposes are transferred to private networks, spectrum clearing is another crucial duty. All of these crucial tests, as well as connected tasks like fiber testing and tiny cell verification, may be carried out using a portable spectrum analyzer.

Industry 5.0 and 6G?

It's difficult to predict what the future may contain with the success of Industry 4.0 intermingled with the developing technologies like Private 5G, Edge Computing, and Spectrum Analysis. According to some analysts, Industry 5.0 will see a significant increase in human-machine contact and a return to more human-centric manufacturing methods. This might allay the concerns of those who worry that Industry 4.0 and AI pose a threat to render people obsolete.

This new industrial internet of things (IIoT) plateau may be ideal for 6G networks' terabit speeds and undetectable latency. These three key enablers might be used once more to fuel the following behemoth as 6G is anticipated to rely on more varied, high-frequency airwaves and highly integrated mobile edge technologies.

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About the Creator

Douglas Burnham

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    Douglas BurnhamWritten by Douglas Burnham

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