Member of the “SynergieRegion” joint project, SPIE drives 5G research forward

Published on 16 December 2020

Stuttgart, 16 December 2020The “SynergieRegion” joint project from ARENA2036, Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH (WRS), the business development agency for the state capital of Stuttgart, University of Stuttgart, the Fraunhofer Institutes IPA and IAO and the companies Balluff, NAiSE, Nokia, Pilz, Bosch, SPIE, Trumpf and Unisphere has now received funding of €4 million from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). “SynergieRegion” is receiving this funding as part of the BMVI’s tender for advancing the implementation of 5G in its 5G innovation programme. The aim of “SynergieRegion” is to enable joint research in the Stuttgart region into new 5G applications for smart cities and Industry 4.0 in localised test areas such as the 5G test bed on the ARENA2036 research campus.

Sub-project “High-bandwidth 5G networks for process optimisation in manufacturing”

SPIE, the independent European leader for multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, is working with several partners on the sub-project “High-bandwidth 5G networks for process optimisation in manufacturing”. The sub-project’s consortium is made up of the companies Robert Bosch, Bosch Rexroth, Nokia, SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa, Balluff and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation. Other partners include the research factory ARENA2036 e.V. (Active Research Environment for the Next Generation of Automobiles), Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH and the business development agency for the state capital of Stuttgart. The aim of the project is to implement and trial the new mobile network standard 5G in the context of connected manufacturing. “The interconnection of multi-sensor, camera, building automation and plant control systems promises 5G use cases offering a high degree of added value for IT security, reliability, real-time capability and resilience in buildings, plants and infrastructures. In addition to cable-free retrofitting, which enables complete radio coverage without interruptions at the transitions between radio cells and over long distances, it will also be possible to transfer large data volumes to support critical applications in industrial production”, says Tobias Blattmann, CTO and head of Strategy & Digitalisation in the Information & Communication Services operational division at SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa. “5G provides new technologies and services otherwise impossible in today’s Wi-Fi and cabled networks.

In the sub-project, SPIE is responsible for implementing a prototype “5G sensor kit”. The multi-technical services provider will also actively support the process of setting up and configuring a 5G network infrastructure, designing a prototype 5G camera system and implementing a joint evaluation platform for data fusion and analysis. “We have already gathered comprehensive experience and wide-ranging expertise in the digital transformation of buildings, plants and infrastructures. We became a member of ARENA2036 back in 2018 and use the research platform as an innovation lab. This has enabled us to implement more than 18 use cases and realise innovative, digital solutions in collaboration with our customers. This is why we are so proud to contribute our expertise to this vital project”, says Clarissa Hack, head of Digital Transformation at SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa.

Getting ready for the future

Together with its partners, SPIE is getting ready for a massive expansion of Germany’s 5G infrastructure. As a solution provider at the interface with network providers and industry, SPIE will contribute its services in the setup, operation and requirements analysis of 5G networks. “The focus here is on local campus networks, for which a number of our customers have already applied for radio transmission licenses. The existing solutions are based on public frequencies and implemented directly by the network provider. But this is impossible when high scalability, service quality in terms of latency and the reliability and availability of the communication infrastructure need to be ensured. This is where collaborations with service partners like SPIE, who are responsible for installation, configuration and operation, are so important,” says Tobias Blattmann. Through this specially funded joint research project, SPIE has the opportunity to trial specific 5G-related services and solutions and then implement these on a large scale for the general public. “Because only through highly realistic use cases can 5G be brought to life”, says Clarissa Hack.