Telecommunications company Telefónica Deutschland, network supplier Ericsson, and Mercedes-Benz Cars are putting in place a 5G mobile network for automobile production in its ‘Factory 56’ in Sindelfingen. As part of an innovation project that extends over an area of more than 20,000 m2, the 5G mobile communications standard is being implemented for the first time into the running production. The experience gained there will be actively incorporated into plans for future implementation in other plants. By putting this milestone in place, the cooperation partners are ensuring that the 5G standard of the future becomes reality for Germany as an industrial base.
The 5G network is being installed by telecommunications company Telefónica Deutschland in collaboration with network supplier Ericsson. Once installation and commissioning are completed, the network will be operated by Mercedes-Benz Cars.
“With the ‘Factory 56’, we are not only building the smart car production of the future, but also putting in place the world’s first 5G mobile network in a vehicle assembly factory”, says Jörg Burzer, Member of the Divisional Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain. “As the inventor of the car, we are taking digitalisation in production to a whole new level. With the installation of a local 5G network, the networking of all production systems and machines in the Mercedes-Benz Cars factories will become even smarter and more efficient in the future. This opens up completely new production opportunities.”
“We are starting the 5G era for Germany as an industrial location and are building the most modern mobile network for one of the most modern automobile factories in the world,” says Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Deutschland. “As a telecommunications provider and partner for the industry, we have extensive experience in private networks and modern 5G solutions, which we are now contributing to the cooperation with Mercedes-Benz Cars.”
The development of an own infrastructure brings many advantages and plays an important part in the implementation of smart manufacturing for the future. The use of state-of-the-art 5G network technology allows Mercedes-Benz Cars, among other things, to optimise existing production processes in its plant with the help of new features. These include, for example, the data linking or product tracking on the assembly line. With a separate own network, all processes can be optimised and made more robust, and if necessary adapted at short notice to prevailing market requirements. Furthermore, the mobile communications standard links production systems and machines together in an intelligent manner, thereby supporting the efficiency and precision of the production process. A further benefit of using a local 5G network is that sensitive production data do not have to be made available to third parties.
With the 5G network, the enormous quantities of data required for various test scenarios involving the automobile of the future can be processed very quickly (via “data shower”). The 5G mobile communications standard allows fast data transmission rates in the gigabit range, with extremely low latency and a high level of reliability.