Inside the smart factory revolution



Last year, a major US automaker announced it was turning one of its factories into a factory for all-electric vehicles. The emerging commitment of U.S. automakers to more sustainable transit is certainly revolutionary, but the importance of the news was not just about the types of cars the company would produce, but also exactly how it was produced. would build them. The plant is the first US auto plant to integrate 5G, the next generation of wireless networking technology. Auto factories rely on a complex set of connected devices including robots, sensors, and more, and supporting them with 5G wireless infrastructure has huge benefits. 5G will allow the company to manage thousands of devices in the huge factory and securely leverage critical data information; it will also be used to support applications for portable and portable devices focused on quality control and worker safety.

The auto giant isn’t alone in investing in advanced wireless. Manufacturers across the country, from medical device makers to steel producers, are starting to consider the transition to 5G. Designed to deliver faster speeds and highly reliable connectivity, the network holds the promise of factories that could be safer, more efficient and more sustainable than ever before.

“5G provides massive wireless connectivity,” said Dr Xiaoxia Zhang, senior director of Qualcomm Technologies, a company leading the development and expansion of 5G globally. “It can accelerate the shift to Industry 4.0, the next generation of manufacturing, with the industrial Internet of Things for connectivity and analytics. “

Building the factory of the future

Since the turn of the 21st century, American manufacturing has had its struggles. Today, the sector employs some 12 million people—down over 17 million in 2000. Structural problems in the industry were magnified during the pandemic, as manufacturers struggled to keep factories sure and manage supply chain disruptions.

Yet despite these challenges, the U.S. manufacturing sector may be on the cusp of transformative efficiencies, in part thanks to the emergence of 5G. A recent one. A recent economy study commissioned by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. estimates 5G in manufacturing in the United States could generate “a direct impact on GDP of up to $ 159.2 billion and up to 1.2 million jobs” .

This seismic impact is the result of the breadth of functionality of 5G; the network offers faster download speeds, more transparent data sharing and extended network capacity compared to previous generations. For factories, this means a technological and physical makeover. On the one hand, plants can be wireless, making it easier to move and handle connected devices. 5G also supports an expansion of autonomous and semi-autonomous machines, sensors embedded in physical infrastructure and objects, streamlined data processing, and even factory mixed reality applications.

The breakthrough Qualcomm 5G technologies are vital to achieving this change in the industry. The company has long been a leader in inventing and delivering innovations that advance wireless connectivity; today, Qualcomm is at the forefront of that effort again, producing technologies that form the very foundation of 5G. Additionally, says Zhang, Qualcomm’s innovations help factories meet the unique challenges of 5G integration. In the past, manufacturers may have hesitated to use wireless for key operations due to concerns about the reliability and security of alternative wireless technologies such as WiFi. With the support of breakthrough Qualcomm 5G technologies, however, these manufacturers can create secure private 5G networks that can be tailored for industrial applications.

“We are helping factories take advantage of more radio spectrum for private networks on their premises so that they can use even more services and more advanced features on the 5G network in the future,” said Zhang.

The importance of smart manufacturing

The value of these 5G-enabled services and features in manufacturing is substantial. Productivity, for its part, will increase. Automation can help streamline the production process and free up employees to be more efficient. In a Texas factory, for example, the owners estimate this production per employee is 2.2 times higher thanks to improvements linked to 5G. 5G also allows sensors inside equipment to continuously monitor conditions; data can be analyzed for predict breakdowns, so that maintenance can be done proactively, rather than in response to a problem. Overall, 5G-enabled factories will experience productivity gains of 20 to 30 percent, according to the report commissioned by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Factories equipped with 5G can also be a boon for security. Automation could free workers from the most dangerous tasks, while data processing based on machine learning could be used to assess risks in real time. Wearable devices can also be used in the factory to avoid hazards, notes Zhang of Qualcomm Technologies. “With wireless detection and positioning, we can identify a worker’s location and quickly alert them via a portable device if they are near a danger zone,” she said. .

Additionally, these smart apps could be used by manufacturers to steer their processes towards greater customization. Automation and machine learning will allow for greater product variation while wireless machines will allow more seamless changes in the physical organization of a factory. Plus, these same innovations could help manufacturers reduce waste and be more responsive to supply chain issues.

“The application of 5G technologies can accelerate the transition to Industry 4.0 and revitalize manufacturing in the United States,” said Zhang. In short, the scope of the benefits of 5G integration is manifold. Backed by Qualcomm’s pioneering efforts, the Advanced Network is poised to fundamentally change the way things are made in America, for the better.

Qualcomm 5G technology licensed from Qualcomm Incorporated. Qualcomm 5G products are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and / or its subsidiaries.


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Credits: By WP Creative Group.


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