Home5GDeutsche Telekom adds new partners for its 5G smart factory ecosystem

Deutsche Telekom adds new partners for its 5G smart factory ecosystem

Deutsche Telekom has added new partners for its 5G-based smart factory ecosystem, the German telco said in a statement.

The new partners are EK Automation, Konica Minolta and Endress+Hauser.

“Our development of a complete 5G ecosystem for industry will accelerate the pace of digitization in industry. This will strengthen Germany’s position in global competition,” said Claudia Nemat, board member for technology and tnnovation at Deutsche Telekom. “We enjoy working with renowned and experienced partners. More and more industries are being added. In this way, our offering is becoming increasingly complete.” 

EK Automation, a specialist in automated guided vehicle (AGV) systems, joined the Deutsche Telekom partners’ ecosystem in July. Together with the Deutsche Telekom incubator Hubraum, the company equipped transport robots with 3D cameras this summer. For the first time, the companies said, 3D obstacle detectionwith dynamic route planning was integrated into the edge cloud. The transport robot sends the 3D camera images to the cloud for analysis almost in real time via the Deutsche Telekom’s 5G network. This enabled the vehicle to immediately avoid obstacles placed in the roadway.

“The new 5G mobile communications standard with data rates of more than one gigabit per second opens up new possibilities for us. For example, we can coordinate many transport robots in this way,” said Jan Drömer, CIO of EK Automation. “We will jointly push the use of AGVs for efficient production”.

Together with Deutsche Telekom, Konica Minolta is further developing its AIRe Lens. This lightweight augmented reality glasses helps a technician, for example, to assemble machines by showing step-by-step instructions on the display. The technician can also show the situation to an expert at a remote location. A camera is integrated in the glasses for this purpose. In the future, AIRe Lens will deliver data directly via DT’s 5G network. 

“In combination with Telekom’s network, AIRe Lens enables us to offer our customers a wearable AR solution,” said Ikuo Nakagawa,  senior executive officer with Konica Minolta’s digital workplace business unit. “The AR glasses help our customers to make their production processes more efficient. At the same time, it increases the speed and quality of manufacturing.”

Endress+Hauser is a global specialist in measurement and automation technology. The company will be one of the first manufacturers to equip its sensors with mobile radio modules.

“In addition to the actual measured values, our instruments have long recorded a wealth of information from the process and about the sensor. So far, however, this data has hardly been used,” said Matthias Altendorf,  CEO of the Endress+Hauser Group. “The 5G campus networks open a second signal path that is independent of the control system. This enables us to link value chains more closely across company boundaries and make industrial processes more efficient”.

Earlier this month, Deutsche Telekom said that its 5G network was already operational in the cities of Berlin, Bonn, Cologne, Darmstadt, and Munich.

5G services in these five cities is being currently offered via 129 5G antennas. Deutsche Telekom also said that it is gradually expanding its 5G network clusters in these five major cities.

The German carrier expects to provide 5G coverage in the cities of Hamburg and Leipzig before the end of this year. A total of 300 5G base stations are expected to be deployed before the end of 2019, the telco said.

By the end of 2020, at least 20 of the largest cities in Germany are to be connected to the 5G network, according to Deutsche Telekom.

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