The 5G-Industry Campus Europe is an ambitious new project, which will provide 5G connectivity across a square kilometer of the Melaten campus of RWTH Aachen University, and enable the development of new technologies related to Industry 4.0.
Developed as part of a research project funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) – to the tune of around six million Euros – the new network is directly focused on the introduction of the new mobile communications standard in the manufacturing industry.
The research infrastructure of the 5G-Industry Campus Europe covers a square kilometer of the Melaten campus of RWTH Aachen University, and a total of 7,000 square meters of machine hall space, and includes 5G sensor technology for monitoring and controlling highly complex production processes, to mobile robotics and logistics and cross-location production chains. The network also includes 19 antennas and a bandwidth of ten gigabits per second, which will make it the largest 5G research network in Europe.
"This is where the future for innovative production is created,” explained Niels König, 5G-Industry Campus Europe Project Leader, Fraunhofer IPT. “Together with companies and research partners, we are creating a completely new infrastructure at the 5G-Industry Campus Europe, where we can test and try out different 5G applications in production and logistics. This will completely redefine the previous requirements for the industries.”
Partnering with Ericsson
Partners for the development of the 5G infrastructure are the mobile network supplier Ericsson and the IT Center of the RWTH Aachen University.
"We are delighted that an idea presented jointly at Hannover Messe 2019 is now becoming reality,” said Jan-Peter Meyer-Kahlen, Head of the Ericsson Eurolab in Aachen. “The 5G-Industry Campus Europe is creating a unique ecosystem worldwide for research, development and adaptation of 5G technologies for Industry 4.0.”
The aim of the involved partners is to open up new 5G use cases for mobile communication technology in production. And having gained the first 5G license in the 3.7 to 3.8 Gigahertz range (non mmWave) in March, the network is up and running.
"With the 5G-Industry Campus Europe we have created the largest 5G research network in Europe,” said German Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer. “It will help us to link 5G research and Industry 4.0. I am firmly convinced that projects like this are the future of German industry."
The network connects the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL of the RWTH Aachen University, the FIR (Institute for Industrial Management) at the RWTH Aachen University and, in the future, other University departments.
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