Wireless ICT for Production Technology 4.0

Flexible production processes are a core topic of Industry 4.0. It requires flexible and mobile production equipment e.g. mobile robots) as well as a much better tracking of products and parts on the production floor. The concept of "Free Float Flawless Assembly” requires a highly reliable and highly resilient communication system to provide the information for a simulated “Digital Shadow”,used for monitoring, planning and control of the production process and production equipment. Current wireless communication standardization activities also target ultra-reliable low latency communication (e.g. 3GPP), but do not consider the even higher resilience requirements in production technology. In the project solutions for a wireless communication concept in an Industry 4.0 setting are studied. Focus of the project is not just on the communication system but also on the production technology in how to best utilize the strengths and best accommodate the issues of wireless communication.

First the communication requirements of production technology will be studied in more detail, so that relevant scenarios can be defined. This includes study of the electromagnetic environment (channel modeling, interference sources). In a second step suitable communication concepts – by adaptation and enhancement of current and future standardized communication systems (WiFi, 4G/5G) – will be developed based on analysis and simulation. Initial application is a mobile device which captures autonomously the current positions of mobile production equipment, semi-finished parts and components, and humans. Finally, the communication concept will be optimized w.r.t. key performance indicators like resilience and throughput.

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