There is a lot of talk about the potential of 5g technology and a little less about the practical benefits of the new wifi transmission protocol. So let’s see what impact they can have on the Industry 4.0 model and big data analytics technologies, which are an essential prerequisite. Industry 4.0 and big data are, in fact, closely linked: the production and analysis of large amounts of information are essential for the new business model.
More important, however, is that this data is readily available and circulates rapidly. The new generation Internet, between 5g and wifi 6, designs a new scenario in which the smart city corresponds to a “smart factory.” Therefore, the premises are essential, but what is the concrete reality, and what tools do companies have today to speed up the transmission and processing of data within and throughout the supply chain?
Big Data Analytics
We often hear it said, and in our experience as users, we realize it every day: data is the engine of new business models. They make it possible to profile the potential customers to the millimeter and, therefore, formulate truly tailor-made offers. They guarantee capillary control of production and distribution processes and the entire business management cycle moving from consumption to production.
A structural approach to data is the basis of Industry 4.0: the collection, analysis, and processing software are included among the nine enabling technologies of this business model. In this way, strategic figures such as data analysts or data scientists are established, specializing in finding patterns and formulating reliable estimates from the collected and analyzed information. This, as has been said, both in the analysis of the market and in that of the production chain.
There are the machines at the other end of the management system, passing from the control room to the actual production room. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) asserts itself with intelligent machines innervated by sensors and in constant communication with the production ecosystem. The new tools receive and transmit inputs and develop automatic response codes for natural sentient elements. Production thus becomes an internal affair of the robots used, while the staff is responsible for the delicate and vital role of supervision and guidance.
Machine Learning, Industrial IoT, Artificial Intelligence: Management Models
From this summary, we understand how the company of the fourth industrial revolution manages an enormous amount of data. What’s more, it transmits and processes valuable information in real-time. The aforementioned enabling technologies have a high level of sophistication. Therefore, they require an equally high computing capacity and an aspect that is sometimes underestimated, an ultra-rapid circulation of data packets.
The new industry model has a circular and non-linear development as in the recent past. The supply of raw materials, the quantity and type of pieces to be sent into production, the market response: everything can be analyzed and decided in real-time thanks to the continuous exchange of information.
It thus happens to direct production towards one or another model based on the availability and current cost of raw materials or to make changes or customizations during construction by welcoming customer inputs. The direction is that of agile manufacturing: a lean supply chain and a production cycle tailored as much as possible to the market, like Adidas, Toyota, and many other companies in various sectors have already done.
Data Analysis Is The Cornerstone Of This Evolved Workflow
- Business intelligence
- Continuous collection of information
- Isolation of important data
- Immediate response to inputs
Production and more, since data science systems, are also helpful, for example, to manage shipments and logistics, track the shelf life of products on the market, and, possibly, manage recall cycles or manufacturing defects.
Massive Amount Of Data, Processing Capacity, And Adequate Connection
The data available on the consumption and production of information in advanced supply chains such as those described above are astounding: to stay with the data coming from the machinery, it is in the order of terabytes per hour. Indeed, filtering and extrapolation systems are critical that allows extracting from this sea magnum, already at the level of the single machine, significant sets of information.
This avoids unnecessarily clogging up the network infrastructure. Even with this critical skimming work already carried out at the level of the single device, it is undeniable that enormous computational capabilities and a very stable and fast connection are required to make everything work. If, in the consumer sphere, minimal delays or interference in accessing content or data can be tolerable, in the production sphere, parameters such as latency times, real-time management of processes, and service continuity become crucial.
In other words, the flow of data must be rapid and continuous, and a stable and robust infrastructure is needed. As far as computational power is concerned, distributed and decentralized computing systems of the cloud computing type are affirmed. At the same time, for connection management, great hopes are placed in new network technologies, both fixed and mobile.
5g And Wifi 6, Between Promises And Reality
Much has already been saying about the 5g mobile network protocol about networks and ultra-fast communication. The discussion has often gone beyond the technical sphere to involve geopolitics, privacy management, and health issues. Of these considerations, 5g still seems to offer enormous new opportunities. In this sense, it looks like a revolution rather than an evolution of mobile technology.
The transmission speed and the simultaneous access capacity are, in fact, much higher than those of the previous protocols, such as to guarantee even a more reliable mobile connection than the fixed one. Forecasts, the most significant developments resulting from the widespread adoption of this network (which should take place around 2025) seem to be those for end users. A widespread 5g coverage allows the full development of smart cities: urban nuclei in which data and information circulate smoothly between the many connected devices.
So much to enable automatic adjustment of elements such as public lighting, traffic lights and traffic, parking lots, and more. Less talked about, but very important, especially from a business perspective, is the new wireless network management protocol, 802.11ax or wifi 6. Recognized and certified in 2019, it should establish itself as a new standard for wireless communication already in the first months of 2021. In addition to the more incredible speed of access to the network, the novelty is also in the greater bandwidth available.
Both about 5g and wifi 6, radical changes are expected in accessing the network and using data. If the focus is very much centered on consumer users in the first case, the issue of wireless could interest companies more. Moreover, the new generation mobile networks could paradoxically benefit those companies that operate in areas where the current network infrastructure is malfunctioning.
Indeed, installing 5g repeaters seems less complicated than planning and laying cables on the ground in a new place. Therefore, for the new tools to become concretely operational, infrastructural works that private operators are currently carrying out are needed, in some cases in collaboration and on the input of public managers.