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Porsche revs up for private 5G in production

Leading sports car manufacturer enters into research partnership with Ericsson to take advantage of 5G networks to accelerate production capabilities at manufacturing production complex

Comms provider Ericsson has entered into a collaboration with Porsche in a trial project representing the first deployment by the high-performance car manufacturer of a private next-generation network which it hopes will herald a new remote production era, driving the future of the automotive industry.

The dedicated 5G network will be piloted in the technology cell body shop for Porsche’s Macan line and will enable the control of robotics in real time without cables. It also allows for the transmission of massive amounts of data between other onsite machines, production workers and vehicles through the secure, flexible and predictable transmission of signals in real time. 

“The 5G test area offers an excellent opportunity to test use cases in a production context and is an important step forward in our production of the future,” said Gerd Rupp, chairman of the executive board at the Porsche Leipzig manufacturing facility.

The updated automation capabilities are intended to have a significant impact on production at Porsche, providing numerous benefits for the company and its workers, including increased worker safety and a more efficient form of quality: faster production times, reduced costs and increased quality.

“As we transition to the factory of tomorrow, Porsche production is undergoing a comprehensive digital transformation. In the process, we are guided by our vision: smart, lean and green,” said Albrecht Reimold, member of the executive board for production and logistics at Porsche AG. “5G technology is one of the key elements laying the groundwork for our smart factory.”

Ericsson sees the private 5G technology as having many network characteristics that are essential for Industry 4.0, with increasingly flexible and complex production processes. The secure 5G standalone (SA) network operates over a private frequency spectrum and is attributed with providing high-speed wireless connectivity, ultra-low latency and huge data-handling capabilities.

A dedicated 5G network from Ericsson is being tested on Porsche’s production line

“Ericsson is proud to work with leading companies like Porsche in their smart factories and provide them with... 5G and private network products,” said Åsa Tamsons, head of business area technologies and new businesses at Ericsson. “5G connectivity can enable the next step in digital transformation in manufacturing, making it more efficient and effective. Ericsson’s private networks empower greater productivity, safety and flexibility across a variety of industries from manufacturing and processing to mining, offshore and beyond.”

The deployment comes just days after Ericsson launched its Intelligent Automation Platform, a service management and orchestration product that it claims will enable any mobile network to be automated intelligently.

The platform facilitates artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, which Ericsson says improves network performance, operational efficiency and customer experience to help create smarter networks. It will work across new and existing 4G and 5G radio access networks (RANs) and will support diverse suppliers and RAN technologies, including purpose-built and Open RAN.

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