On May 12th the time had come: The 5G-Industry Campus Europe in Aachen officially put its radio network into operation. With a surface area of just under one square kilometre, 19 antennas and a bandwidth of ten gigabits per second, the largest 5G research network in Europe at present is now going into operation. The network on the RWTH Aachen Campus, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), connects the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT, the Machine Tool Laboratory WZL at RWTH Aachen University, the Research Institute for Rationalization (FIR) at RWTH Aachen University and, in the future, other institutes of the university with the new mobile radio standard. Together, the partners at the 5G-Industry Campus Europe can now research and test the areas of application of 5G in industrial use in detail.
Funding by the Federal Government
It was just in March that the 5G-Industry Campus Europe was awarded a first 5G license in the 3.7 to 3.8 Gigahertz range. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is funding the ambitious project with around 6 million euros. “With the 5G-Industry Campus Europe we have created the largest 5G research network in Europe. It will help us to link 5G research and Industry 4.0. I am firmly convinced that projects like this are the future of German industry,” says Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.
New infrastructure for production
The aim of the partners involved is to open up new fields of application for 5G mobile phone technology in production: “This is where the future for innovative production is created. Together with companies and research partners, we are creating a completely new infrastructure with the 5G-Industry Campus Europe, where we can test and try out different 5G applications in production and logistics. This will completely redefine the previous requirements for the industries,” says Niels König, who is leading and coordinating the project on behalf of the Fraunhofer IPT.
Over the next three years, the project partners plan to develop and implement applications and solutions for digitalized and networked production. Partners for the development of the 5G infrastructure are the mobile network supplier Ericsson and the IT Center of the RWTH Aachen University. “We are delighted that an idea presented jointly at the Hanover Fair 2019 is now becoming reality, and that the 5G-Industry Campus Europe is creating a unique ecosystem worldwide for research, development and adaptation of 5G technologies for industry 4.0,” emphasizes Jan-Peter Meyer-Kahlen, Head of the Ericsson ICT Development Center Eurolab in Herzogenrath.
The research infrastructure of the 5G-Industry Campus Europe covers about one square kilometre of the Melaten Campus of RWTH Aachen University as well as a total of 7000 square metres of hall space. It thus offers a spacious area for researching various application scenarios – from 5G sensor technology for monitoring and controlling highly complex manufacturing processes, mobile robotics and logistics to cross-location production chains.
Faster data processing through edge-cloud systems
Another goal of the Aachen scientists is to test the use of modern edge-cloud systems for fast data processing in order to exploit further potential of 5G for fully networked and adaptive production. “Thanks to the intelligent interaction of the 5G network and local edge-cloud systems, we are able to implement end-to-end real-time applications in a scalable way – from the sensor to the cloud. This will create a unique ecosystem in Aachen, in which forward-looking concepts and architectures, such as real-time process analyses or closed-loop applications, can be implemented and validated holistically,” explains Sven Jung, who is in charge of the set-up on the technical side.
You can find further information here: www.5G-Industry-Campus.com