Manufacturing: Smart factories and more

Trend 1: 5G enables AI, predictive and preventive analytics to turbocharge smart factories

An important benefit of the smart factory is its ability to automate repetitive, labor-intensive, and potentially dangerous tasks. AI coupled with preventive and predictive analytics can prevent unplanned downtimes, which can be a major impediment to maximizing productivity for manufacturers. Further, advanced analytics can help forecast demand for spare parts that can create the parts on-demand along with additive manufacturing. This will then simultaneously reduce the waste of spare parts and the cost to store them significantly while also lowering carbon emissions by decreasing transportation of spare parts and waste generation. These outcomes are achieved only when the vast quantities of data generated from sensors and interfaces are transmitted and processed in real-time, which 5G networks make possible. Analytics engines need to work with real-time data to be effective. 5G eliminates the low network bandwidth hurdle that has historically prevented analytics applications from delivering accurate results. According to a recent Forbes report, this trend will minimize human error and the risk of accidents and give people more opportunities to take on complex roles. The manufacturing sectors possess near-term revenue potential, so capitalizing on this trend will be key to realizing the growth. Companies must take a long-term and more strategic view of the problems 5G can solve and the overall gains that it can deliver.

A major food and agri-business company transformed its coffee business through 5g. In partnership with Infosys, they implemented a smart factory model that enabled higher quality control by controlling the moisture levels in its coffee products. Infosys helped the client deliver a proof of concept using sensors that decreased the variance in moisture levels from 9%. 5G connectivity relayed the sensor data to a dashboard that triggered changes in the next stage of the process.

Manufacturing: Smart factories and more

Trend 2: 5G-enabled remote monitoring of production machinery, and asset tracking enhances safety and efficiencies

5G implementation allows for remote monitoring and controlling of production assets, a trend that will be even more notable in a post-COVID world. Operators can track operations in real-time through software systems remotely. This means they can easily locate and manage assets, gain actionable insights in real‑time, and configure the machinery to optimize safety, efficiency, and quality. With 5G, live streaming and remote monitoring will be more seamless, accurate and secure, enabling operators to instantly broaden their application and troubleshoot problems. Enterprises should expand the potential of 5G by liaising with connectivity operators to establish private 5G networks in their production facilities. The private network will help the gradual and seamless implementation of robotics and automated tasks in their facilities, significantly reducing 5G network rollout expenses. Production lines must consider pilot 5G programs to assess the feasibility and profitability for themselves.

A leading German automotive company enabled a private 5G network to remotely monitor and track its assets and production machinery. This Infosys client used a highperformance, wireless 5G network to digitize its factory floor with selective assembly facilities IoT-enabled. With high-resolution cameras transmitting high-quality videos in real-time and driverless transport systems coupled with sensors relaying critical parameters to the factory personnel present at remote locations, Infosys effectively managed quality assessment, monitoring operations and tracking assets. We also laid the groundwork for the latest software and applications to make this 5G transformation fruitful.