Researchers develop 5G-based ultra-low-latency smart factory management service

By Park Sae-jin Posted : December 16, 2021, 10:19 Updated : December 16, 2021, 10:22

[Courtesy of ETRI]

SEOUL -- Using 5G-based ultra-low-latency management technology, South Korean researchers have demonstrated a remote factory management service by operating a smart factory in real-time from a control tower far away.
Thanks to 5G mobile data communication technologies, an ultra-fast, low-latency wireless communication method has been adopted for smart factories that require the flawless transfer of data to safely manage facilities. Keeping a data latency of lower than 10 milliseconds is important for the real-time monitoring of factories because a control tower can detect malfunctions or defect items and stop the production line immediately to prevent further damages.
A smart factory is harnessed by a web of wireless and cable networks. 5G base stations and internet of things (IoT) sensor devices provide a close-range wireless network. Cables connect devices and their management system, mainly as a backup tool that will keep the factory running in cases of wireless network shut down caused by machine malfunctions or power outages.
The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) said that its research team has demonstrated the 5G-based ultra-low-latency management service solution to manage smart factory facilities in Gyeongsan some 280 kilometers (173 miles) southeast of the ETRI lab in real-time.
Researchers demonstrated a real-time remote production management system, real-time remote robot control system, real-time remote management of production facilities, real-time production monitoring using virtual reality (VR) devices, and sensor-based remote production monitoring. The latency of data transfer was kept under 10 milliseconds.
"We hope this technology to be used as a useful tool that would accelerate the popularization of smart factory systems in the manufacturing sector," ETRI's communication media lab head researcher Bang Seung-chan said in a statement on December 16. The institute will upgrade its technology to connect Finland's Oulu University and the Gyeongsan smart factory for the demonstration of remote smart factory operation.  
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