5G driven efficiency boost for manufacturing – IEEE 5G World Forum in Dresden

IEEE 5G World Forum Dresden


Uwe Herzog                                                                   Milon Gupta
Eurescom                                                                       Eurescom
herzog(at)eurescom.eu                                              gupta(at)eurescom.eu

The second edition of the IEEE 5G World ­Forum, the flagship event of the IEEE Future Networks Initiative, took place in Dresden, Germany from 29th September to 2nd October. The event was held in conjunction with the 4th IEEE 5G Summit and consisted of a conference, several workshops, and an exhibition. More than 1,000 international participants came to the International Congress Center Dresden to discuss the future of 5G.

Prof. Henning Schulzrinne

Cautionary messages at the opening

In the opening plenary, Prof. Henning Schulzrinne from Columbia University seemed rather sceptical about the economic success of 5G – at least as far as telcos and equipment manufacturers are concerned. He rather expects that 5G could lead to industry consolidation.

Dr. Thyaga Nandagopal from the US National Science Foundation took a similarly sceptical line. He tried to calm down the hype about 5G that some say might change everyone’s life. Dr. Nandagopal warned not to expect too much. That said, he was confident that there would be many interesting new applications enabled by higher bandwidth, lower latency and higher device density.

Dr. Michael Bolle, Chief Digital Officer and Chief Technology Officer at Bosch, was more upbeat about 5G. In the area of mobility, he considers 5G to be an answer to the requirements of V2X, e. g. for platooning or tele-operated driving.

In the manufacturing domain, Dr. Bolle sees the high potential of 5G for improving efficiency and cost of production – especially in Bosch’s own 180 plants worldwide. This will be needed to respond to the trend of mass customisation, which requires high flexibility and wireless connectivity as well as flexible device positioning with wireless charging. Especially for safety-critical functions he considers 5G to be better than WiFi.

In terms of 5G deployment, Bosch clearly favours closed and private networks connected to the Bosch factories, either autonomously or provided by telcos and device manufacturers. Dr. Bolle stressed that for Bosch, security and avoiding attacks is crucial.

Dr. Michael Bolle

More insights from the conference

In the Worldwide 5G Industry Fora Session, Heinz Bernold from Boston Consulting Group highlighted the operators’ increased network costs for 5G; he estimated a 60{b28ae05319d94bff0b4d65c5a9f4524dd588360f05c61ef440e1608e0a1c4144} increase.

In the plenary session on the second day, Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter from Vodafone Germany highlighted the importance of 5G’s low latency for applications like controlling a drone or remotely controlling building cranes and other equipment.

As an application example for factories he mentioned a recently completed car production plant in Aachen, which is 5G-enabled. This gives high flexibility to the production process, for example by providing almost real-time detailed information on the status of the production process. This information can be stored in a blockchain and monitored any time.

Peter Riedel, President and Chief Operating Officer of Rohde & Schwarz, emphasised that 5G can help in automation and save infrastructure costs. He said Rohde & Schwarz has seven-digit infrastructure costs every year. Apart from cost-savings, he stressed the importance of security, reliability and low latency as well as high relia­bility enabled by 5G.

Further information: IEEE 5G World Forum website – https://ieee-wf-5g.org