From automation to artificial intelligence: how 5G can help companies improve productivity, efficiency and agility

As one of the early adopters of 5G technology, Singapore is already at the forefront of 5G innovation and as of this year boasts 95 percent outdoor coverage. With such robust connectivity serving as the foundation for new technologies and solutions, the country is poised to accelerate its journey towards Industry 4.0 digitization.

Businesses have many opportunities to leverage the capabilities of these next-generation technologies, and many Industry 4.0 pioneers are already reaping the benefits of digitalization.

At Toyota Production Engineering, for example, efficiency at its manufacturing sites has increased since the automaker deployed a private, industrial-grade wireless network with Nokia at its Japanese manufacturing design center, deploying solutions such as IoT applications, digitization and visualization.

Similarly, Nippon Steel, one of the world’s largest steel producers, deployed Industry 4.0 technology on a private wireless network and found improved manufacturing efficiency and safety, as well as reduced maintenance downtime.

In Singapore, strong outdoor 5G coverage means that companies in the supply chain and transport sector are most likely to benefit early from Industry 4.0 technology, improving their efficiency and resilience. However, for these companies and related industries to realize the full potential of Industry 4.0, indoor reporting is crucial.

“Companies with large and often obstacle-filled facilities such as manufacturing plants or logistics warehouses require robust and ubiquitous connectivity, which is best achieved with a bespoke deployment of a private wireless network,” says Hendry.

“Private wireless networks provide the flexibility, reliability, bandwidth, speed, and security needed to run these services. Likewise, companies that handle proprietary data may not want to run their services over a public network and instead deploy a private network,” he adds.

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Supported by robust and flexible high-performance networks, innovative digital technologies will propel industry into the next era of productivity, efficiency and sustainability. And it is important that companies start adopting Industry 4.0 technologies as soon as possible.

Mr. Hendry says: “We see a trend towards digital transformation in companies and industries. Unless companies start seriously adopting Industry 4.0, they will very quickly fall behind and lose competitive advantages in the marketplace, while their competitors benefit from improved productivity, efficiency and business agility.”

“Companies should also not forget that this is a long-term strategy. By establishing digital transformation capabilities today, they are future-proofing their companies for further technological innovations such as 6G or the industrial metaverse.”

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