"The speed and flexibility of our devices and machines are extremely important in ensuring efficient production workflows. The integrated 5G campus solution project allows us to test how we can further expand and optimize this in future with new technologies."
Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO OSRAM Automotive
OSRAM: Mobile robots for more efficient production processes
Heading towards a smart factory with the 5G campus network and edge computing
OSRAM is a leading global high-tech company with over 113 years of history. With its predominantly semi-conductor based products, the company facilitates applications such as virtual reality, autonomous driving and networked lighting solutions. In the 2018 business year, OSRAM generated a turnover of over 3.8 billion euros from continuing operations, with around 26,200 employees. The high-tech company invests in the future solutions identified, in order to be perfectly positioned for future markets. The exploitation of digital opportunities is one of the key components of the company strategy. However, the development of digitalization is not just reserved for the developers of new business areas, but also aims to contribute to improving the efficiency of production, paving the way to smart factories. In its plant in Schwabmünchen, OSRAM tests digital platforms and validates them in terms of their return on investment.
Evaluation of digital opportunities in production
"The speed and flexibility of our devices are extremely important for efficient production processes. The integrated campus solution project gives us the opportunity to test how we can use new technologies to further develop and optimize in future," says Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO of OSRAM Automotive, outlining the objective of the innovation project.
Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO OSRAM Automotive
For the production, relevant components and raw materials must be transported on the production site. The autonomous transport of these goods offers a first starting point for the path to a smart factory.
Powerful ICT infrastructure needed
However, the mobile robots (automated guided vehicles – AGV) cannot be operated reliably enough with the existing IT and network infrastructure. LAN connections are not suitable for mobile IoT scenarios, WLANs do not offer the necessary transmission quality. In addition, the network infrastructure for automated robot operation must guarantee the rapid response capability of mobile units. In this way, accident situations can be avoided preemptively and reliably at the planning stage.
OSRAM decided on an integrated platform: a 4G/5G campus network for high-performance radio communication with a combination of a local edge cloud and an operator edge cloud in the mobile network. The edge clouds provide the necessary minimal latencies and ensure the smooth deployment of AGVs. The campus network ensures fast communication between the AGVs and the local computing resources, to enable navigation and mapping for autonomous operation.
With the campus network, OSRAM has flexible, private radio network infrastructure, initially based on established LTE technology. By means of "dual slicing", the plant in Schwabmünchen uses high-performance, private radio infrastructure as well as better coverage with the public mobile network.
Heading towards a smart factory
With the existing powerful network infrastructure, OSRAM can now test further digital application scenarios live in the Schwabmünchen plant, such as the use of augmented reality for remote support or other applications that have real-time requirements, in order to increase the efficiency of production. This will enable the OSRAM plant to pursue the path to a smart factory.
Telekom and OSRAM launch Campus Network
Deutsche Telekom and OSRAM launched the first campus network for the industry. Telekom and OSRAM are testing a so-called "dual-slice" campus network in the joint project. This combines a public and a private LTE network on one common infrastructure. This guarantees an optimal indoor and outdoor coverage.
From the Smart Factory to remote-controlled machines to new mobility requirements for end devices - older cable connections are reaching their limits. Mobile networks offer a solution. What has changed and what LTE can already do today.