With high speed, low latency mobile technology enabling new levels of connectivity and data sharing, the integration of 5G in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) systems is expected to accelerate the realisation of Industry 4.0, according to a new analysis by Frost & Sullivan.
The application of 5G-enabled IIoT is currently limited to quality inspections, supply chain management and generic machine control, but system manufacturers are actively exploring other areas in industrial operations where the benefits of 5G connectivity can be leveraged for process optimisation and increased automation, the research firm said.
For example, 5G integrated cloud manufacturing solutions enable the use of real-time data throughout the manufacturing process. 5G also boosts the processing time and data throughput for robots, and will enable robots to be more easily connected to workers and machines.
“Incorporating 5G in IIoT devices will enable low latency, increase data throughput and reduce operation time, thus leading to improved overall process productivity,” said Mogana Tashiani, technical insights research analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Apart from enhancing the automation of industrial operations and control, 5G-enabled IIoT devices can also minimise the complexity of supply chain networks and warehouse management, helping businesses to efficiently operate in dynamic business environments.”
The analysis, Role of 5G Communication Revolutionizing Industrial Internet of Things, also highlights other key sectors that will benefit from 5G-integrated IoT, including:
Financial services: 5G-integrated IoT devices and systems allow transactions to be completed and recorded at a faster pace, while also increasing accuracy by reducing human errors, improving the overall productivity of the system.
Retail: Shops can automate in-store transactions with 5G-ready radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, which can facilitate autonomous check-out in brick-and-mortar stores.
Tashiani added: “5G will play a key role in ensuring the sustainability of businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The low latency will aid in managing the high traffic to e-commerce by improving network accessibility at a faster pace, accelerating online purchases and order placements. Furthermore, 5G-integrated IIoT devices have the potential to disrupt traditional on-site job functions through remote working and virtual meetings.”
For an insight into how the manufacturing and logistics sectors in China, Hong Kong, India and Singapore are embracing IIoT technologies, download your free copy of our report How will IoT transform industry in Asia?