The arrival of 5G is expected as one of those great steps in the history of technology that will change not only the way we communicate, but will also bring huge advances across all kinds of industries. Moving to an environment where download speeds reach 10 gigabytes of information per second opens the door to a new scenario in which to be big dataThe Internet of Things or artificial intelligence will have new and more efficient applications in sectors beyond telecommunications. Not surprisingly, the report The global economic impact of the fifth generation network, Prepared by the consulting firm PwC in 2021, the impact of this technology on global GDP in 2030 is estimated at $1.3 trillion (about €1.08 trillion). industry.
An example of how 5G can revolutionize this sector is found in Ferrol. There, Telefónica created a collaboration with Navantia, the Spanish public shipbuilding company, and Ericsson, Cinfo and Idronia to create Europe’s first 4.0 shipyard. By implementing two complete 5G networks on its premises, connected to a Edge computing In a nearby telephone exchange, this place is the pioneer in using this technology. “The Navantia shipyard in Ferrol has the highest private 5G network for industrial use deployed to date,” explains Ana Maria Vega Vigo, expert on innovation and 5G projects at Telefónica Spain. “It’s the first time we’ve been able, in a real-world scenario, to achieve 4Gbps of download width.”
This data transmission capacity allows for other, hitherto unforeseen technological applications in the marine industry. One of them is augmented reality, which is used in this shipyard to facilitate repair work through remote technical assistance. “This system improves communication between the Navantia maintenance officer, who is at the site of the breakdown, and the remote technical service,” explains Juan Porto, Head of Industrial Management of Navantia Ría de Ferrol. “The local officer shares the video captured with his augmented reality glasses to the remote support, which gives signals in real time and with distinct graphic elements on the image that the officer watches through the glasses, using arrows, circles or any drawing that helps a maintenance officer. In this In this case, the 5G network allows us to have very low latency communications between the augmented reality glasses and the remote technical service computer.
The Navantia shipyard in Ferrol has the highest private 5G network for industrial use deployed to date
5G networks at this shipyard allow not only optimization of repair operations, but also of large ship manufacturing operations. “These boats are built by cutting them into units that can be controlled in terms of weight and dimensions,” Porto says. Like a puzzle, but with pieces weighing several tons, fitting them together is absolutely key. “Detecting possible deviations at the stage of block fabrication is essential. 3D scanning makes it possible to generate a real 3D model of each block from a cloud of millions of points, which can be compared to a theoretical model of the ship to detect possible errors. In the same way, a virtual assembly of real blocks can be performed before actual compilation.
Thus, this simulation through 3D images makes building a large ship easier and free from costly manufacturing errors. But, for this, it is necessary to process an amount of data in real time which would not be possible without 5G. This shipyard’s two networks are connected to a hub Edge computing A few kilometers from it. “It’s a computer center equipped with high data processing and graphic processing capabilities,” says Ana María Vega Viejo. “This allows us to get all the benefits of agile computing at the same speed as if it were inside the shipyard itself. For example, when using 3D scanning, the ability to process all the information uploaded in real time allows experts to validate the build and discover potential deviations in much less time.”
It evolves towards a dynamic model of factory, factory, warehouse, etc. As there is no infrastructure attached to the walls or the floor
Ana María Vega Vigo, Expert in Innovation and 5G Projects at Telefónica Spain
This digitization of operations is leading the Ferrol shipyard, in the words of Vega Viejo, “towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. “We are talking about flexible environments that are able to adapt dynamically to changing business needs. It evolves towards a dynamic model of factory, factory, warehouse, etc. in which there is no infrastructure anchored to walls or to the ground.” Navantia is an example, but Telefónica has already been involved in other projects: “We’ve made very interesting deployments to test other types of applications related to logistics in Gestamp, El Corte Inglés or APM port terminal.” A new, highly connected and highly efficient environment for the industry of the future.
On the way to Industry 4.0
The Navantia shipyard in Ferrol, framed within the company’s digital transformation plan, is another step towards Industry 4.0, a model in which process optimization through technology opens the door to a new dimension. “The digital factory is the model towards which all large companies evolve,” says Ana María Vega Viego. “It is expected that factory autonomous vehicles can be coordinated and controlled remotely, that machines interact in real time, that they are sensed, and that they connect to the cloud to make quick decisions.” All of this is based on the ability to transmit and process data that can only be achieved through 5G. “The Industry 4.0 model is based on the existence of reliable, secure and high-capacity wireless networks”, confirms the expert on innovation and 5G projects from Telefónica.