Thematic Report

Factory 5G

by Leonne Chen / Mar 20, 2019


Real-time control, integrated mobile robots/automated guided vehicles and AR/VR support functions, enabled by 5G communication, will dramatically change the industrial-automation landscape. Adding connectivity to the manufacturing process will bring us to the next revolution on the factory floor: Industry 4.0 + 5G. This cellular network with its ultra-reliable and low latency communication (URLLC) characteristics will open up a whole new chapter in our technological advancement. Seamless connectivity is essential to support time-critical manufacturing processes and ensure safety.

Connecting the dots
Industrial IoT will move to the next level through 5G communication, with more things connected and more data to analyse. Industrial IoT platforms allow for data analysis, predictive maintenance, asset optimisation and AI/machine learning, all of which will create enormous value-add for manufacturers. Research firm Market Research Engine forecasts the global industrial IoT market to deliver an 8% Cagr in 2018-23 to reach US$232bn. Given their technological edge, Japan’s industrial-automation firms are well placed to benefit from the structural growth enabled by 5G.

Getting rid of the wires
With 5G communication, mobile robots, automated guided vehicles and connected forklifts will be able to build real-time, highly precise maps based on a dynamic environment, without the need for a physical wired network. This will help in the assignment of tasks to each device, offering greater flexibility, and allow for the optimisation of a fleet’s operating time. Warehouse expansion by ecommerce firms is driving the demand for smart logistics solutions, with 5G technology helping to improve connectivity between each moving device and therefore enhance efficiency.

Advantage Japan
Their superior technologies will allow Japanese industrial-automation makers to be leaders of this latest industrial revolution. We are upbeat on their prospects in this megatrend given their strategic positioning and robust growth potential.