Bosch starts 5G campus network

November 27, 2020 // By Nick Flaherty
Bosch is putting its first 5G campus network into operation at its Industry 4.0 lead plant in Stuttgart-Feuerbach.
Bosch is putting its first 5G campus network into operation at its Industry 4.0 lead plant in Stuttgart-Feuerbach.

Bosch will be setting up 5G networks in the coming months at its research campus in Renningen, Germany and is also launching its first 5G solutions for industrial use.

“5G strengthens our competitiveness and lets us make even more of Industry 4.0’s potential,” said Dr. Michael Bolle, board of management member and CDO/CTO at Bosch. “We will gradually roll 5G out to our roughly 250 plants around the world.”

At the plant in Stuttgart-Feuerbach, Bosch is using 5G for the widespread use of autonomous transport systems. Eight small base stations from Nokia provide coverage across the manufacturing facility, which covers around 10,000 square metres. This lets wirelessly connected machines and systems communicate with each other in real time and exchange data within a few milliseconds.

The Bosch ActiveShuttle moves autonomously over the shop floor, avoiding people and vehicles, bypasses storage boxes, steers purposefully toward the production line, stops, unloads its freight, and sets off again.

“Campus networks are an important building block for Industry 4.0,” said Bolle. “These networks give us control – over what happens in the factory and over how data is transferred both within and beyond the factory walls.”  

The networks can be optimized and tailored to highly demanding industrial applications and are integrated into the existing IT infrastructure and continuously monitors the activity.

The two companies are jointly responsible for network planning, operation, and servicing. As part of the KICK project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Nokia and other partners are researching how artificial intelligence can simplify the operation and maintenance of 5G campus networks.

“We have a clear vision of the factory of the future, and how we need to develop our products to meet its requirements. In this context, 5G is a ‘springboard innovation,’ a technology that will fundamentally change the market,“ said Rolf Najork, member of the Bosch board of management.

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