The speed and reliability of the 5G network in data transmission increase efficiency and flexibility in production, while opening up many possibilities for the use of innovative technologies.
Fast and reliable data transmission is an increasingly important resource in production, and with this in mind, ŠKODA is testing an innovative solution in cooperation with Vodafone.
A pilot project has started at the Mladá Boleslav site, leading to the installation of a mobile private 5G network that enables ultra-fast data transmission, opening up new possibilities in production. The goal of the project is to comprehensively test and further develop the technology under real-life conditions.
"The private 5G network is a milestone for ŠKODA on its journey towards becoming a Smart Factory. The technology offers enormous potential for future innovations, for example in predictive maintenance and optical inspections in body construction. With this pilot project we are testing 5G in everyday operations and will also evaluate further uses in order to be even more efficient and flexible", explains Christian Schenk, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Finance and IT.
Michael Oeljeklaus, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Production and Logistics, adds: "The 5G standard also opens up new possibilities for autonomous transport in logistics, augmented reality in production, and many other applications. One important example is the FATA MORGANA application, which enables specialized technicians to support maintenance remotely, even if they are on two different continents: a digital twin is created in real time, and communication takes place using 3D objects in augmented reality. This is possible because of the much faster flow of data and lower latency that characterize 5G connectivity. In addition, Microsoft HoloLens 2 glasses also improve the efficiency of the digital twin of the scanned area".
Speed and reliability
The 5G research network enables secure, real-time local data transmission. The solution uses 5G Standalone (SA) technology and is one of the first commercial networks with this standard installed in the Czech Republic.
The ŠKODA network uses a private frequency spectrum dedicated to the plant, which enables reliable data transmission, guaranteeing sufficient bandwidth even under high utilization. The latency of 5G, that is, the time it takes to transmit data to sensors, machines, vehicles or other devices, may drop as low as a few milliseconds, a much better speed than WLAN or other wireless communication technologies.
The mobile private 5G network enables the implementation of new technologies within the framework of the Smart Factory concept, in the areas of Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence and shared data; the next steps will be the intelligent networking of robots and wireless assembly tools and the upload of data to vehicles coming off the production line via 5G.
ŠKODA's private 5G network has been integrated into existing data networks in order to ensure the necessary data security and gain experience in the implementation of this new technology, which will soon be extended to all areas of production and logistics; in the future it will also be used to autonomously transport vehicle and predictive maintenance, and will also be tested in combination with various devices at the ŠKODA FabLab.
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