5G is considered a key technology for accelerating the digital transformation of the economy and society: In addition to significantly higher data transmission rates, real-time transmission and the networking of machines, plants and robots in industry will become possible. In combination with edge computing, 5G will offer new degrees of freedom for the distribution of automation functions and thus make the networking of machines and plants even more flexible.
At the Institute for Industrial Information Technology at the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences, the topic is also one of the central research focuses. Together with the University of Paderborn, InnoZENT OWL e. V. and the industrial companies Benteler Business Services GmbH, MECSware GmbH and Nuromedia GmbH, they launched the "5G4Industry" project at the beginning of the year. The project is being funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia as part of the 5G.NRW competition. In total, the state government is funding 13 outstanding 5G projects with up to 26 million euros.
The aim of the project is to develop and test largely automated management tools that jointly handle the different types of resources for transporting, processing and storing data. "At inIT, we are investigating networked embedded real-time systems for industrial information technology and are focusing on the end-to-end quality of service criteria that are important for users, such as real-time capability, robustness and reliability. By combining management tools, we want to manage resources in such a way that a wide variety of applications are supported in their service requirements in the best possible way according to their prioritization," explains inIT project member Arne Neumann. The solutions developed for 5G networking for an industrial use case are then to be tested and demonstrated realistically in the SmartFactoryOWL, especially for industrial use in small and medium-sized enterprises.
The project has meanwhile gained considerable momentum. On April 30, for example, the project partners came together for the first quarterly meeting. "At the meeting, we completed, among other things, the collection of 5G application scenarios from the industrial partners. We also defined initial architectural approaches for the planning and management of network and cloud resources, and discussed the goals for the demonstration in SmartFactoryOWL. The first months of the project have already shown us that the planned results can be of great benefit for future applications," Neumann summarizes.
The inIT membership in the 5G-ACIA, the central global forum for the design of 5G in the industrial sector, also shows the relevance of the topic for the institute.