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Fraunhofer IPT and Ericsson launch 5G-Industry Campus Europe, Europe’s largest Industrial 5G Research Network

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The aim of the 5G-Industry Campus Europe is to jointly explore – together with companies and research partners – further application areas of the new mobile radio technology 5G in the production field and test them as practical as possible: The consortium, coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT on the Campus Melaten of RWTH Aachen University, is receiving funding of almost 6.2 million Euros from the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in order to set up the regional 5G research network. The institute has now selected Ericsson as its 5G network supplier.

Together with its project partners, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University and the FIR at the RWTH Aachen University, the Fraunhofer IPT will develop and test applications and solutions for the digitalized and networked production over the next three years. The Swedish mobile network supplier Ericsson is the partner for setting up and developing the required 5G infrastructure.

At the 5G-Industry Campus Europe, the project partners will be investigating different application scenarios in seven subprojects – from 5G sensors for monitoring and controlling highly complex manufacturing processes to mobile robotics, logistics and multi-site production chains. In addition, the Aachen scientists want to test the use of modern edge cloud systems for fast data processing in order to exploit the potential of 5G in networked, adaptive production. German Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven already informed themselves about the concept of a 5G-Industry Campus Europe during the Hannover Messe 2019.

New 5G network covers an area of one square kilometer of the Aachen research campus

The indoor and outdoor networks of the 5G-Industry Campus Europe in Aachen cover an outdoor area of around one square kilometer and, additionally, almost 7000 sqm indoors – in the machine halls of the participating partners, which represent all fields of production technology. The facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art IT and production systems and thus offer a unique infrastructure for jointly testing individual 5G applications together with the research partners and developing them earlier than usual. In this way, partners of the Aachen institutes can benefit directly from the new 5G-Industry Campus Europe. In order to ensure the direct transferability of the research results into real industrial applications, the network of the 5G-Industry Campus Europe will be set up in the industry-relevant frequency range from 3.7 to 3.8 GHz.

«The 5G-Industry Campus Europe will provide manufacturing companies with important insights into the technical possibilities and application potential of 5G,» says Niels König of the Fraunhofer IPT, who is leading the scientific side of the project at the Aachen campus.

«Industrial history is being written in Aachen today. Through the 5G-Industry Campus Europe, the recently founded Ericsson Center of Excellence Industry 4.0 and the involvement of numerous other partners in the Aachen community, we are creating a globally unique ecosystem for the research, development and adaptation of 5G technologies in an Industrie 4.0 context,» explains Jan-Peter Meyer-Kahlen, Head of the Ericsson Research and Development Center Eurolab near Aachen.

The new research network project takes up earlier collaborations between the three research institutions in Aachen: the world’s first 5G New Radio system from Ericsson, which is completely wirelessly integrated into the production environment, has been working in the machine hall of the Fraunhofer IPT since the beginning of 2018. With its existing 5G model factory as part of the 5G Competence Center NRW, FIR also contributes know-how and experience to the 5G-Industry Campus Europe.

The project 5G-Industry Campus Europe aims directly at the introduction of the new mobile radio standard in the manufacturing industry. Interested companies and research partners who would like to inform themselves or participate can contact the consortium via the project website: www.5G-Industry-Campus.com

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