Automotive 5G manufacturing production has begun at German electric microcar company e.GO Mobile AG’s Aachen complex, enabled by 5G connectivity from Ericsson and Vodafone Germany.
In e.GO’s Factory 1, where the e.GO Life model is manufactured, an Ericsson Private Networks solution – spanning 5G Core and 5G New Radio solutions from Ericsson’s 5G Platform – will deliver secure and almost real-time data networking across the production chain, from digital material management to autonomous vehicle control.
Incorporating network slicing and mobile edge computing technologies, which are already in place, the optimised on-site network spans 36 antennas in the 8,500 sqm (91,493 sq ft) facility, delivering gigabit bandwidth and latency of just a few milliseconds. Ericsson 5G Radio Dots will be installed in the factory by the end of August.
The company says secure automatic identification and delivery of production materials to each specific vehicle as it goes through the assembly process, alongside fully autonomous vehicles replacing the traditional production line to move vehicles from station to station, increases operational speed and efficiency across the chain.
In the future, autonomous forklift trucks and small trains will also be used to transport material between warehouses and the production hall.
Gunther Schuh, CEO, e.GO Mobile AG, says the 5G network will deliver faster and more reliable production with constant access to relevant information.
“The assembly plant for e.GO Life is a true Industry 4.0 factory,” he says. “In other words, it is fully networked in terms of information technology. Connectivity links the physical and the digital world.”
Hannes Ametsreiter, head of Vodafone Germany, says: “Our automotive industry needs a fast network directly where the newest and most innovative cars are built. Data is an important fuel for modern automobile production.”
Arun Bansal, president and head of Europe and Latin America, Ericsson, says: “5G is the key to opening the door to a new era in manufacturing productivity, speed, security and efficiency – and the automotive industry is a prime example of the beneficiaries. Our 5G technology leadership, including solutions and abilities specifically tailored to manufacturing, enables us to partner with companies such as Vodafone and e.GO to deliver the very best private networks solutions.”