Industrial research network in Aachen for the 5G mobile telecommunications generation

Together with its project partners, the Machine Tool Laboratory (WZL) and the Research Institute for Rationalisation (FIR) at RWTH Aachen University, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT will oversee the development and testing of applications and solutions for networked production using the new mobile telecommunications standard. The Swedish mobile network supplier Ericsson has been selected as the partner for setting up and developing the required 5G infrastructure. At the 5G-Industry Campus Europe, seven sub-projects will be used to examine different application scenarios – from 5G sensors for monitoring and controlling highly complex manufacturing processes to mobile robotics and logistics and multi-site production chains. In addition, the Aachen-based scientists want to test the use of modern edge cloud systems for fast data processing in order to exploit the potential of 5G in networked, adaptive production. The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) will be providing the consortium coordinated by the IPT with funding of almost 6.2 million euros over the next three years for the development of the research network on the Melaten campus. To ensure the results are transferable to real-world conditions, the 5G network will be set up to operate within the frequency band intended for industrial plants of 3.5 to 3.8 GHz – the upper 5G spectrum that was not auctioned at the 5G auction in June 2019, but reserved for so-called campus networks. According to the scientific project manager Niels König of the Fraunhofer IPT, the research will provide manufacturing companies with important insights into the technical possibilities and application potential of 5G.

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