Intel and partners build 5G smart factory to demonstrate Industry 4.0 benefits

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Intel has built a 5G smart factory “from the ground up” to demonstrate the benefits of Industry 4.0 digitalisation.

The end-to-end smart factory is based in Verona, Italy and is based on Intel Atom and Xeon Scalable processors, Intel FPGAs, and Intel Edge Controls for Industrial and Edge Insights for Industrial software.

Intel is collaborating with EXOR International, JMA Wireless, and Telecom Italia (TIM) on the project.

Claudio Ambra, CTO of EXOR International, said:

“We built this smart factory from the ground up to take advantage of the latest 5G and AI technologies from Intel and Telecom Italia. 

Our smart factory in Verona will demonstrate that digitalisation can happen at any scale. This is increasingly important for small and mid-size manufacturers who are looking to stay innovative and competitive in the market.

We can’t wait to share what is now possible for manufacturers of all sizes with Industry 4.0 solutions.”

Industry 4.0, also known as the fourth industrial revolution, combines modern technologies including 5G, AI, IoT, AR/VR, and cloud and edge computing, to bring about the digital transformation of manufacturing/production and related industries and value-creation processes.

Research from Fortune Business Insights forecasts the smart manufacturing market to reach around $506 billion by 2027—representing a whopping compound annual growth rate of 12.2 percent.

The smart factory will demonstrate operational benefits including:

  • Autonomous human resources scheduling, reacting to changes in orders and employee availability in real time.
  • A clear indicator of whether everything planned for the week, including supplies, components and documentation, is in order and ready for production.
  • Real-time updates on order status and work-in-progress advancements, regardless of order size.

Christine Boles, VP of the IoT Group and General Manager of the Industrial Solutions Division at Intel, commented:

“We’re seeing Industry 4.0 adoption accelerating and hearing from customers that they are interested in understanding how 5G and AI can speed up their digital transformation.

EXOR’s new smart factory is a great example of how deploying solutions based upon standards with open architectures can help lower maintenance costs, increase productivity, and take advantage of new business opportunities.”

While businesses are increasingly interested in how they can speed up their digital transformations to remain competitive, many are still unsure about how to go about it. The smart factory will provide a working example.

An on-premise 5G lab – through collaboration with local operator TIM – will also allow for experimentation with the latest-generation mobile network.

The lab will explore 5G’s ability to:

  • Improve communication in an extreme factory design setup.
  • Enable peer-to-peer communication through the use of industrial robots.
  • Impact edge computing cluster connectivity versus wired connections.

A portion of the smart factory floor and 5G lab will be open for other companies to see how they can shift towards Industry 4.0 digitalisation.

Want to find out more from executives and thought leaders in this space? Find out more about the Digital Twin World event, taking place on 19th-20th October 2021, which will explore augmenting business outcomes in more depth and the industries that will benefit.

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