Legendary German car manufacturer Porsche has begun operating a first 5G-research network with Ericsson at its production plant in Leipzig.
The project, the first 5G-research production site network set up by the Volkswagen-owned super-car manufacturer, will enable the secure transmission of signals in real time over a private frequency spectrum.
According to Porsche, the 5G research network will make it possible to test a variety of production systems that would benefit from a switch to wireless communication “in a risk-free and flexible manner”. The company said the first trials of the wireless applications would be piloted in its Macan body shop.
The pilot project in the technology cell of the Macan body shop will see process devices on a robot controlled via 5G rather than wires.
Earlier this year, Vodafone Germany activated a 5G standalone network at Porsche's development centre in Weissach by equipping the site with two mobile radio stations and several antennas to supply the entire area with a high-speed network. Albrecht Reimold, executive board member for production at Porsche said the introduction of 5G technology is “one of the key elements laying the groundwork for our [proposed] Smart Factory”.
Åsa Tamsons, head of business area technologies at Ericsson, added: “Ericsson is proud to work with leading companies like Porsche in their smart factories and provide them with our world leading 5G and Private Network products. 5G connectivity can enable the next step in digital transformation in manufacturing, making it more efficient and effective. Ericsson’s Private Networks empower greater productivity, safety and flexibility across a variety of industries from manufacturing, processing, mining, offshore, and beyond.”
The investment in 5G forms part of a broader digital and electrification strategy according to the company. Porsche has previously announced a total of €15 billion investment in new technology over the next five years including €5.5 billion on intelligent mobility offers, car IT, innovations and new business processes including wireless networks. Earlier this month, Porsche used a portion of this investment fund to acquire a majority stake in the e-bike manufacturer Greyp Bikes.