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Research into the connectivity of devices in factories will lead to improved capability and ultra-reliability

The University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre has received research funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 framework to address the challenges faced in the manufacturing industries when a large number of devices need to be connected and react in fractions of seconds. Klaus Moessner, Professor in Cognitive Networks at the 5G Innovation Centre, is working with 12 partners (including five from Taiwan) on Clear5G which will investigate reliable technical solutions to time-critical processes for devices not directly operated by humans.

As factories require fast, ultra-reliable and scalable technologies to monitor an increasing amount of data, the trade-off between delay, reliability and bandwidth becomes a problem, especially as the devices and applications become more sophisticated. Clear5G will look for answers to address the challenges of massive deployment of connected devices, security and reliability, in particular to help ensure that the factories of the future are sustainable. 

By improving the connectivity of devices, such as the sensors monitoring machines’ status, product customisation and quality assurance, manufacturing industries will become more efficient, improve capabilities and be more energy efficient. 

Professor Klaus Moessner said:

Communication is at the core of automation of most (if not all) industrial processes, and manufacturing lines will help make industrial production sustainable even in high income economies. The technologies we investigate in Clear5G will provide the techniques to implement such ultra-reliable and low delay connectivity for the factories of the future.

This research complements the work already being carried out at the University of Surrey developing the next generation of mobile communication technology.