Huawei has teamed up with industry leaders in the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association – formally known as the ZVEI- for the joint creation of 5G technologies specifically for industrial use. That's according to an April 26 announcement made via Huawei's official site, which says the group will be known as the "5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation" (5G-ACIA). More directly, the initiative is set to establish the next-generation networking technology in industrial production with a primary focus on implementing Industry 4.0 and "beyond." For those who may not already be aware, Industry 4.0 refers to the incoming trends in automation and data exchange among technologies used in manufacturing and production. It effectively adds greater connectivity, cognitive computing, and other enhancements to current automation processes. As Huawei puts it, it's hoped that Industry 4.0 will herald an "unprecedented" level of flexibility, versatility, and mobility.
To that end, Huawei and as many as 25 others in the industry have joined forces to analyze how 5G networking technologies might be leveraged to bring further cohesiveness to production. Those partners include some well-known companies such as Bosch, Deutsche Telekom, Endress+Hauser, Ericsson, Infineon, Intel, Nokia, Siemens, and Vodafone. However, they also include some lesser-known institutions such as the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Institute for Industrial Information Technology, and Institute for Automation and Communication. Of course, the organization will go beyond simply looking at how 5G can be used in current production and the solutions that will enable manufacturing to take advantage of those. It will also be actively taking part in discussions about the standardization and regulation of 5G, in addition to looking into the various requirements for using 5G in industrial settings. Moreover, the group will try and determine where the technology might be able to take things beyond Industry 4.0, with 5G acting as a "central nervous system" for manufacturing.
It goes without saying, in the meantime, that there haven't been any timeframes set for when the group proposes to show results. This early in collaboration, the primary goal will likely be to learn how each participant's strengths and weaknesses can contribute to the endeavor. From there, the initial drive will be to ensure that industry leaders have a voice in the ongoing 5G revolution.