5G allocates resources on demand

- May 27, 2019-

5G networks provide solutions for a variety of manufacturing scenarios through network slicing, enabling real-time efficiency and low power consumption, and simplifying deployment, laying a solid foundation for the future development of smart factories.

First, network slicing technology is used to ensure that network resources are allocated on demand to meet network requirements in different manufacturing scenarios. Different applications have different requirements for delay, mobility, network coverage, connection density and connection cost. The flexible configuration of 5G networks, especially the reasonable and rapid allocation and redistribution of network resources, imposes more stringent requirements.

As the most important feature of the 5G network, based on the end-to-end network slicing capability of multiple new technologies, the required network resources can be flexibly and dynamically allocated and released for different needs in the whole network; The blueprint and input parameters create a network slice that provides specific network characteristics. For example, extremely low latency, extremely high reliability, and extremely large bandwidth, etc., to meet the network requirements of different application scenarios. For example, in smart factory prototypes, key transaction slices were created to meet critical transaction processing requirements within the plant to provide low latency, highly reliable networks.

In the process of creating a network slice, you need to schedule resources in the infrastructure. Including access resources, transmission resources, and cloud resources. Each infrastructure resource also has its own management functions. Through network slice management, customers are provided with shared or isolated infrastructure resources according to different needs of customers. Due to the mutual independence of various resources, network slice management is also collaboratively managed between different resources. In the smart factory prototype, a multi-level, modular management model is demonstrated to make the management and collaboration of the entire network slice more versatile, flexible and easy to expand.

In addition to critical transaction slicing, the 5G Smart Factory will additionally create mobile broadband slices and large connectivity slices. Different slices share the same infrastructure under the scheduling of the network slice management system, but do not interfere with each other and maintain the independence of their respective services.

Second, 5G can optimize network connectivity and take local traffic offload to meet low latency requirements. The optimization of each slice for business needs is not only reflected in the different functional characteristics of the network, but also in the flexible deployment plan. The network function modules inside the slice are very flexible and can be deployed in multiple distributed data centers according to business requirements. The key transaction slicing in the prototype is to ensure the real-time performance of the transaction, and the delay is very high. The user data plane function module is deployed in the local data center close to the end user, and the delay is reduced as much as possible to ensure real-time control of production. 

In addition, distributed cloud computing technology is used to deploy industrial applications and key network functions based on NFV (Network Function Virtualization) technology in a local data center or centralized data center in a flexible manner. The high bandwidth and low latency of the 5G network greatly enhances the intelligent processing capability by migrating to the cloud, paving the way for improving the level of intelligence.

Under the connection of 5G network, the smart factory has become the application platform of various intelligent technologies. In addition to the use of the above four types of technologies, smart factories are expected to combine with advanced technologies in the future to maximize resource utilization, production efficiency and economic returns. For example, with the help of 5G high-speed network, it collects energy efficiency related data of key equipment manufacturing, production process, energy supply, etc., uses energy management system to manage and analyze energy efficiency related data, and timely discovers fluctuations and abnormalities of energy efficiency, ensuring normal production. Under the corresponding adjustment of production processes, equipment, energy supply and personnel, to achieve energy efficiency in the production process; use ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning, meaning: enterprise resource planning) for raw material inventory management, including various raw materials and supplies Business information. When the customer's order is released, ERP automatically calculates the required raw materials, and instantly calculates the purchase time of the raw materials based on the supplier information, ensuring that the inventory cost is at least zero while meeting the delivery time.

Therefore, the smart factory in the 5G era will greatly improve the labor conditions, reduce the manual intervention of the production line, and improve the controllability of the production process. The most important thing is to open up the various processes of the enterprise through information technology to realize all aspects from design, production to sales. Interoperability, and on this basis, the integration and optimization of resources, thereby further improving the production efficiency and product quality of enterprises.