Ahead of Manufacturing Leaders' Summit 2022 (16-17 November), The Manufacturer sat down with Sebastian Elmgren, Head of Business Development & Product Marketing, Dedicated Networks at Ericsson, to find out more about what we can expect from his 5G-focused keynote speech at this year's event.
Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit is the must-attend industry event for manufacturing professionals working at organisations with a turnover of over £100m.
Over the course of two days, senior movers and shakers from the manufacturing industry will come together to discuss the most pressing issues at the top of their organisations’ agendas. Under the overarching theme of sustainable growth through digitilisation, Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit will focus on four main topics:
- Supply chain disruption
- Skills availability
With our unique discussion table format, you can build your own agenda and attend your choice of 60-minute interactive Q&As, hosted by a world-class manufacturer and a technology expert. This is in addition to the variety of keynote presentations that will be delivered.
Sebastian Elmgren is the Head of Business Development & Product Marketing, Dedicated Networks at Ericsson. On the second day of Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit 2022 (17 November), Sebastian will be delivering a keynote speech on how the 5G innovation platform is enabling the next generation of lean production.
I recently sat down with Sebastian to find out more about what we can expect from his keynote speech at this year’s Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit.
What can people expect from your Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit keynote?
SE: I will talk about how 5G is being used in industry and especially the trend of private 5G networks for industrial use cases, how that is being deployed, as well as some specific examples.
I’ll also tie all this in with lean manufacturing concepts, explaining how 5G is a powerful innovation in the lean manufacturing toolbox. Everyone needs to understand that while 5G is indeed a new and powerful technology, its applications are numerous and that includes its use as a tool to significantly enhance the fundamental aspects of manufacturing.
How about the benefits of 5G for industry?
There will also be focus on the flexibility that 5G enables, particularly when it comes to the supply chain. As we’ve witnessed over the past couple of years, supply chain disruption has been a major challenge for manufacturers. With 5G, supply chain visibility is greatly increased, which allows manufacturers to benefit from improved flexibility. As we saw during the pandemic, with shifting lockdown situations, companies had to be agile and make ongoing decisions about where to source raw materials from. 5G enables such decisions to be made in the most informed way possible based on the data that is available. Supply chains can then be shifted accordingly, facilitated by the broad connectivity, to ensure ongoing raw material delivery and production.
How can 5G help mitigate supply chain disruption?
With the introduction of our private 5G networks inside factories, which we can combine with global connectivity, it means 5G is the only technology that can bridge the local-global connectivity gap. This enables data to then be efficiently moved among all the associated actors in the supply chain, improving visibility and allowing informed decisions to be made based on real-time insights. There are several advantages to using one data carrier to bridge this gap, as people will discover from my keynote.
I know that factories in Germany in particular are harnessing the power of 5G. How is the UK squaring up?
We are seeing a lot of movement now in the UK. There are a lot of interesting opportunities. One particular area where the power of 5G is being harnessed is the Port of Felixstowe. That is connected with a 5G solution, which has grown to enable a lot more than just logistics. I am planning to cite some further examples during my keynote. When it comes to 5G in UK industry, we’re moving in the right direction.
Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit would like to thank:
- Co-organisers Ericsson, IBM, Kearney and SAP;
- Knowledge partner Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge;
- Sponsors 8×8, Capgemini, Cognite, Cognizant, Deloitte, IFS, INAWISDOM, Infor, Innovate UK KTN, Oracle, PA, PEAK, Safety Culture, Salesforce, Softserve, Tableau and Wolters Kluwer.
Tell us about Ericsson’s USA 5G Smart Factory
Let’s not forget that Ericsson is an enormous manufacturer itself. At our Ericsson USA 5G Smart Factory, we assemble the equipment that will power 5G networks across the United States. The factory is a fantastic example of how 5G is being used in a manufacturing setting, and highlights how such connectivity can drive the journey to Industry 4.0, enabling technologies like intelligent automation, while leveraging real time data across operations.
Our state-of-the-art 5G Smart Factory is equipped with fast and secure network connectivity. As a result, it benefits from being highly automated and sets a precedent for how smart manufacturing can optimise processes for efficiency and increase productivity through automation.
And the age of hyper-customisation?
Modern manufacturing often means hyper-customisation. Every product that is manufactured is customised in some way. But now, we’re not just seeing product variations from customer to customer, but certain lines for the same customer requiring individual changes. Long gone are the days when a manufacturer would have one or two products and would produce them on mass, over and over, every single day.
One of the benefits of 5G is that it lends itself extremely well to facilitating this necessary hyper-customisation. And not only from an operational point of view, but also in linking production to the customer, which is ultimately necessary for enabling that level of customisation.
It’s a similar story when it comes to new radio models for Ericsson. We went from releasing maybe five radios a year around a decade ago to doing hundreds of models nowadays and at the same volumes. We now need to work in a completely different way to keep up and that demands unwavering quality. For example, we may produce one radio in a single shift and then never make any more. That’s why the quality has to be perfect first time, which would not be possible without 5G.
5G, the great enabler
Something else 5G enables is the ability to move equipment around, which allows for almost endless production optimisation. With next-generation connectivity, it’s no longer a case of production staff wondering what it would be like if this machine was moved there; it can become a reality with 5G. Moreover, the plethora of sensors that can be added to production equipment and the data harvesting they enable, are pivotal.
Traditionally, we had the luxury of producing several batches, checking the quality, making changes and then repeating. We no longer have that. Everything has to be right from the start and that’s where the sensors and data are crucial.
When we talk about the modern Smart Factory, with its robots, digital twins, augmented reality, etc., all of those technologies require unparalleled connectivity. 5G is the only solution for manufacturers that want to get the very most out of their Smart Factory investments. It’s no longer acceptable to take the infrastructure for granted.
Sebastian Elmgren will be delivering his Manufacturing Leaders’ Summit keynote presentation on 17 November (the second day of the event). If you’d like to be in attendance, then secure your place now:
*Tickets are for manufacturers only.
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