While automation is one of the most prominent trends associated with Industry
4.0, the latest phase of the Industrial Revolution, another key element of
Industry 4.0 is wireless data, and the ways that real-time information, made
available over wireless connections, enhances industrial operations.
From production to warehousing and delivery, a wide variety of Industry 4.0
use cases build on the new ways we can wirelessly gather, analyze, interact
with, and use real-time information. Whether it’s smart sensors wirelessly
transmitting status at key points of the production line, wireless Augmented
Reality (AR) headsets helping maintenance personnel analyze and repair
equipment, or Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGVs) wirelessly navigating a
warehouse to restock inventory – Industry 4.0 relies heavily on the latest
capabilities of wireless connectivity.
In part 2, Peter Raggam discusses Wi-Fi 6 use cases in depth for Industry 4.0.
5G is Part of The Picture
When wireless coverage needs to service a large outdoor area, such as a
shipping port or an industrial park, 5G cellular is a logical choice for
deploying Industry 4.0 use cases. In some instances, especially at large-scale
production sites, manufacturers are even deploying and operating their own
private 5G networks as part of their Industry 4.0 strategies.
This makes sense, since 5G offers high-density, low-latency, broadband
operation over a wide area, so it’s a good option for Industry 4.0 use cases
like high-definition video surveillance covering a large outdoor area,
automated traffic control to manage the flow of delivery vehicles, and
autonomous delivery drones that service outdoor locations.
Wi-Fi 6 Takes Industry 4.0 Inside
When operations move indoors, though, and wireless signals don’t have to
travel over such long distances, the latest generation of Wi-Fi technology,
Wi-Fi 6, is often a more cost-effective approach for deploying Industry 4.0
use cases, because Wi-Fi 6 is less expensive to deploy and operate compared to
Wi-Fi 6 operates in unlicensed bands (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and now 6 GHz, with
Wi-Fi 6E), so there are no spectrum fees or access charges to pay.
- Lower-Cost Infrastructure
Wi-Fi 6 access points are typically less expensive than their cellular
counterparts, and a full Wi-Fi 6 deployment can be created using only access
points and a controller for management. 5G typically requires additional
hardware, including Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) servers and small-cell
gateways, on top of access points.
The introduction of 6 GHz spectrum, with Wi-Fi 6E, opens up new spectrum space
and enables low-cost expansion. The 6 GHz bands can be used for large-scale
deployments of smart sensors that connect to the Internet of Things (IoT), as
well as high-bandwidth applications such as Augmented and Virtual Reality
Connect with NXP to Discover The Possibilities
NXP offers one of the broadest wireless portfolios in the industry, and our
early success with Wi-Fi 6 shows just how committed we are to creating a
connected world that anticipates and automates.
To learn more about our Wi-Fi 6 solutions,