Rohde & Schwarz has installed a private 5G network at its test equipment production plant in Teisnach, Germany to explore the possibilities and advantages of Industry 4.0.
The industrial-grade private 5G network infrastructure is based on Nokia’s Digital Automation Cloud (DAC). Both companies will participate in the testing of the 5G campus network using Rohde & Schwarz network testing equipment to optimize its operation and performance. The experience and insights into private 5G network operation at its own plant, and how to optimize deployment and its own production processes, will feed into the companies understanding of how its test and production equipment can be used. It will alos be used to add capabilities such as automated vehicles and robotics.
The project started in July 2020 with the deployment of 5G gNodeB devivces in NSA mode using the n78 frequency band, supplemented by LTE as the anchor in frequency band 40. The indoor network covers an area of about 1,500 m2.
The R&S FPH handheld spectrum analyzer, the R&S TSMx6 scanning receiver, the QualiPoc Android smartphone-based network optimizer and the R&S 5G STS site testing solution are all being used to test the coverage and performance of the 5G network.
The installation of the private 5G network is providing insights into testing 5G coverage, capacity and configuration parameters in a real factory environment, says the company. This will be used to improve its own test equipment portfolio and to support customers rolling out and optimizing their own campus networks. Additionally, the company is preparing its production facility for the future by paving the way for Industry 4.0 features such as automated guided vehicles (AGV) and advanced robotics.
Industry 4.0 applications in particular create specific demands on communications technology with regard to latency, reliability and security.
To support highly reliable wireless connectivity in a smart factory, it is crucial to cover the following test phases: rollout preparation and spectrum clearance for a clean RF environment inside the factory, acceptance testing for correctly installed network infrastructure as well as coverage and performance testing. In addition to this, 24/7 real-time service quality monitoring and tests for regulatory compliance are recommended.
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