5G connectivity is going to be a game-changer for the manufacturing industry. We are already beginning to see how this tech, combined with other innovations such as AI and cloud computing, is creating a brave new world where machines, and machine learning, have a much more intelligent role to play. As a manufacturing recruiter, we are always on top of the latest developments in the industry. Below we forecast some of the key ways that 5G is set to revolutionize manufacturing.
Virtualized PLCs in the cloud. PLCs - programmable logic controllers - are vital to factory automation but each one has to be installed either on, or close to, the machines that they are controlling. With the arrival of 5G, there are opportunities to develop PLCs so that they have wireless control over machines, in real-time, and at a much lower cost than the current design of PLCs is able to deliver.
Augmented Reality (AR). 5G also makes the widespread use of AR much more of a possibility. This is all about being able to better share knowledge and work instructions without necessarily being reliant on the experts. Currently, instructions that are streamed over 4G networks can stutter and be unreliable. If 5G lives up to expectations it will allow for AR that can provide a step-by-step guide to every motion that needs to be made, without the need to wait for the input of specially trained individuals or incurring machine downtime.
Effective use of industrial data at scale. IoT skill is something we have seen become more of a client priority as a manufacturing recruiter in recent years. However, the more widespread use of sensors, etc. has generated vast volumes of data, which means Wi-Fi networks can be easily blocked and transmission through wired networks can be costly to scale. 5G is truly able to deliver high connection density with multiple endpoints so that industrial data really can be used effectively on a larger scale.
AI + live video analytics. Using cameras to monitor premises (for security) and processes is already common. However, this has a fairly limited use and usually requires individuals to monitor the output of the cameras. With 5G, it will be possible to stream data in real-time to the cloud and apply live video analytics. For example, this could be used to monitor for health and safety risks and automatically shut down machines or notify someone where this is detected. It could also be used in a security context, to trigger a worker or a drone if there is an incident that needs investigating.
Speeding up decision cycle time. As a manufacturing recruiter, we know just how important it is for any manufacturing business to be able to effectively use data to enhance decisions. However, this can end up being a laborious and slow process where there are delays in cleaning the data, collecting, and analyzing it. 5G will speed all of this up, making it much simpler to process higher volumes of data in shorter time frames to improve decision-making.
As a manufacturing recruiter, we have key insight into how 5G is going to change the manufacturing industry. It's important that you attract key skills with the ability to leverage technology to future-proof your business.