Ericsson has opened a Center of Excellence at its Eurolab R&D site in Aachen, Germany, to strengthen 5G products and service abilities and bolster partnerships with communication service providers as Industry 4.0 becomes a reality in Western Europe.
With 5G now commercially live in Europe, and market demand for integrated smart manufacturing gathering pace in the region, the Industry 4.0 Center of Excellence will enable Ericsson to bundle products and services experience, expertise and resources.
The center supports the industry through an integrated approach to networking solutions – such as standalone or hybrid private networks, mobile broadband, the Ericsson IoT Accelerator, and IoT cellular solutions – aimed at capturing the emerging opportunities for industrial IoT. This includes working with communication service providers across the region to enable new applications.
Jan-Peter Meyer-Kahlen, head of the Ericsson Eurolab in Aachen, says: “The Center of Excellence Industry 4.0 brings together all of Ericsson’s experience and expertise in the field of 5G-networked industry. This not only strengthens Germany as an industrial location, but also creates a starting point for the demands of surrounding European industry.”
The Industry 4.0 Center of Excellence platforms Ericsson’s industrial connectivity portfolio and managed services for dedicated cellular networks, which includes using artificial intelligence and automation to boost quality and operational efficiency.
The end-to-end approach means Ericsson can develop tailor-made solutions more efficiently and quickly scale them on-demand. At the same time, industrial needs can be incorporated into product development. The center also offers operators based in western Europe an environment in which they can test demos and show them to customers.
The number of cellular Internet of Things (IoT) connections is forecast to reach 4.1 billion worldwide by 2024, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report November 2018 edition. Digitization of factory assets, equipment, vehicles, and processes means the number of connected devices will increase exponentially.
Automation will also lead to a greater share of 5G connected devices. Both high bandwidth and consistently low latency are needed to support large data volumes and real-time critical data, as well as consistent and secure communication.