Daimler plans to install a local 5G mobile radio network for data exchange between robots and control computers in a more than 20,000 m2 area of its “Factory 56” in Sindelfingen (Germany) and – after installation by Telefónica – operate it itself. According to Daimler, the use of 5G technology enables smart production by connecting all systems and machines. With this technology, which is being used for the first time globally in a real-world production environment, the company intends to set new standards in terms of flexibility and efficiency.
The use of this technology enables the operator, the Daimler subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Cars, to optimize existing production processes in its factory with new features. This includes the linking of data as well as the exact location of products and components on the assembly line. All processes are continuously optimized by the network and can be adapted to new requirements at short notice if necessary. In addition, the mobile radio standard intelligently networks machines and systems with each other in order to support the accuracy of the production process. Another reason why the company opted for a local, independently operated mobile communications network is the confidentiality of the data: sensitive production data does not run through channels that are not under the company’s own control.
For various test scenarios on the automobile of the future, the 5G network can process enormous amounts of data (“data shower”) within a very short time. 5G offers the high data rates in the Gigabit/s range required for such applications as well as short latency times and high reliability.
In order to achieve the full performance of 5G, short distances are necessary. According to the vehicle manufacturer, this can only be achieved with a local infrastructure that will be used for the first time in Daimler’s Factory 56. All assembly systems and conveyor technology are Internet of Things-enabled. The Factory 56 will be equipped with several 5G small cell indoor antennas and a central 5G hub by the cooperation partners.
The equipment of the production area with 5G technology has already been largely completed, Daimler explained. Operational commissioning is scheduled for the beginning of next year. The plant will later serve as a blueprint for further production facilities in Daimler’s worldwide production network.