Vodafone installs 5G private network at Skoda Auto manufacturing plant
Skoda Auto noted that the 5G research network allows data to be locally transmitted securely in real time
Czech car manufacturer Škoda Auto has launched a mobile private 5G network in cooperation with mobile operator Vodafone at its Mladá Boleslav site, the former said in a release.
Skoda Auto noted that the 5G pilot project aims to test and further develop the technology under real-life conditions.
Christian Schenk, Škoda Auto board member for finance and IT, said: “The private 5G network is a milestone for the company on its journey towards becoming a Smart Factory. The technology offers enormous potential for future innovations, for example, in predictive maintenance and optical inspections in body construction. Under the recently launched pilot project, we are testing 5G in everyday operations, and we will also be evaluating future uses of this technology to make us even more efficient and flexible.”
“The 5G standard also opens up new possibilities for autonomous transport in logistics, augmented reality in production and many other applications. One example is the Fata Morgana application that enables remote support between maintenance and technical experts in two different continents by creating a real-time digital twin and communicating using 3D objects in augmented reality. This technology takes advantage of the much faster flow of data and lower latency of 5G connectivity. Microsoft HoloLens 2 glasses also improve the efficiency of the digital twin of the scanned area,” said Michael Oeljeklaus, Skoda Auto board member for production and logistics.
The car maker also noted that the 5G research network allows data to be locally transmitted securely in real time. The solution uses 5G Standalone (SA) technology, which claims to be one of the first SA 5G commercial deployments in the Czech Republic. Skoda Auto says its network uses private frequency spectrum, which is unique to the manufacturers’ smart factory, enabling reliable wireless data transmission and guaranteeing sufficient bandwidth even under high utilization.
The company also highlighted that the private 5G network supplier by Vodafone makes new technologies possible within the framework of the Smart Factory concept, for example in the areas of Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence and shared data. The firm also explained that the next step of this smart factory initiative will involve uploading data to finished vehicles via 5G, while another field of application of this 5G private network is the intelligent networking of robots and wireless assembly tools.
Skoda Auto said it had integrated the private 5G network into existing data networks in order to ensure the necessary data security. The technology will soon be extended to all areas of production and logistics, the company added.