Factory and warehouse operations that move to private cellular networks could see their gross margin increase by 5% to 13% over five years, according to new research.
The study by ABI Research, commissioned by Ericsson, examines the smart manufacturing and smart warehousing sectors within the automotive, electronic goods, retail distribution hub and third-party logistics industries to quantify the return on investment (ROI) for moving to cellular-enabled Industry 4.0 applications versus the cost of keeping the status quo.
The report, Unlocking the Value of Industry 4.0, says that industrial companies need to ask themselves if they can truly afford to remain on the sidelines with business as usual.
Among the advanced technologies included in the report are condition-based monitoring, real-time location system (RTLS)/asset tracking, inventory management, augmented reality (AR)/smart glasses, wearables, building automation and robotics.
To optimise the use of such applications, the study outlines the importance of reliable, secure wireless connectivity – which can be delivered to industrial customers through private cellular networks.
Reliability means that connected devices stay connected, ABI Research explains. For example, if an autonomous forklift needs to connect to the warehouse management system to get its next instruction, losing connectivity will cause a delay, reducing productivity.
Meanwhile, security ensures that firms protect their intellectual property and customer data, and protect their connected devices from being hacked.
“A dedicated 4G/5G network offers a smart, secure, wireless connectivity solution for automating manufacturing and warehouses. It eliminates costly cabling and enables easy reconfiguration of production lines and processes, increasing agility and allowing companies to take new products to market faster,” the research firm concludes.
Download our Next-generation connectivity report to learn more about how the next wave of internet connectivity will impact organisations in five key business sectors: digital business; energy and utilities; financial services; real estate and infrastructure; and transport and automotive.