Brandýs nad Labem, Czechia – Technology company Continental has launched its first private 5G network among its European manufacturing sites at its display solutions plant in Brandýs nad Labem, Czechia. The 5G network, specifically set-up to fit Continental’s requirements for high-tech production, from Czechia’s T-Mobile is expected to further advance the digitalization of production by speeding up communication between employees, equipment, and machines, such as sensors, production robots and autonomous transport vehicles. Additionally, it is improving connectivity between Continental plants in the global production network thanks to a uniform and secure environment with reduced latency times. In total, Continental plans to integrate more than 1,000 devices and sensors into the network at its plant in Brandýs. Covering an area of 5,000 square meters, eight network access points provide the signal for the private 5G network.
“The production of complex display solutions for vehicle cockpits requires innovative technologies already today. The challenges of manufacturing high-tech products of the highest quality and in large quantities will continue to grow in the future. In line with our megafactory strategy, we are therefore systematically focusing on state-of-the-art production,” says Thomas Ebenhöch, head of Operations in the User Experience business area at Continental Automotive. “With the introduction of a private 5G network at our location in Brandýs nad Labem in Czechia, we have now reached a significant milestone on the road to the digital factory.”
Guided maintenance of production equipment per augmented reality thanks to 5G.
Mobile connectivity not only increases the potential for connecting devices, autonomous transport vehicles and machines, but also offers Continental’s production employees additional flexibility.
This allows technicians to collaborate with colleagues on site from home thanks to comprehensive and fast connectivity. The experts guide their colleagues in the plant during maintenance work on production machines with the help of augmented reality, for example, without needing to visit the factory specifically for this purpose.
Smart connectivity also makes cross-plant collaboration within Continental’s production network far more efficient, faster and more effective. To make this possible, the company collects data from the production process and derives insights and opportunities for improvement for the entire production network. “We are already using the data from our connected plants to determine and potential improvements, develop and apply solutions. Along this, our plant in Brandýs nad Labem will play a leading role with the 5G connectivity of more than 1,000 sensors and devices”, says Ebenhöch. In the medium term, this will create an immense treasure trove of data that Continental will use, for example, to optimize production processes and to predict which maintenance work needs to be carried out and when. In this way, 5G connectivity reduces downtime for production robots and production lines.