Industry 4.0 Test Bed

Connected manufacturing

The 5G Industry 4.0 test bed at Fraunhofer IIS is an open environment for testing specific customer use cases in industry and logistics. It employs the latest mobile technology under real-life conditions in a stand-alone 5G campus network. 5G can considerably boost the performance of wireless connections in an industrial setting, thereby opening up new possibilities for implementing more complex and security-critical applications wirelessly. Testing applications with 5G early on accelerates the move towards fully connected, flexibly customizable production, assembly and logistics processes.

Testing connected industrial applications with 5G

A realistic setting for the 5G Industry 4.0 test bed is provided by the interior and exterior facilities of the Test and Application Center L.I.N.K. at Fraunhofer IIS in Nürnberg, Germany. All outdoor, indoor and transition areas of the testing area are equipped with interworking communication and positioning solutions. These make it possible to test a wide range of industrial applications in practical implementation scenarios.

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Real-time process control

5G enables the monitoring, analysis and control of processes in real time. Possible test scenarios are real-time closed-loop robotic control, edge analytics or remote emergency stops.

Use of autonomous mobile robots (AMR)

5G has the potential to serve as a communication medium for the central control, monitoring and coordination of autonomous mobile robots, automated guided vehicle systems or even drones and can thus help make inter- and intralogistics more automated and efficient. The test bed provides the appropriate infrastructure for testing corresponding application scenarios in practice.

Positioning of goods and transport vehicles

Precisely determining and transmitting position data of goods and transport vehicles helps further improve inter- and intralogistics processes. The positioning accuracy that can be achieved with 5G benefits from the integration of various positioning technologies that are available in the test bed.

Faster to market with the Industry 4.0 test bed

Companies, research institutions and universities can use the Industry 4.0 test bed to investigate how 5G can meet various industrial application requirements in real life. The main beneficiaries can be manufacturing companies, positioning system providers, system integrators and telecommunications companies that need easy access to a 5G test infrastructure in order to validate their solutions and ready them for market.

The time between the standardization of new 5G functionalities and their availability as commercial components can be used in the test bed to evaluate new applications and prototypes. Fraunhofer IIS helps companies make better decisions when investing in new developments and systems.

Features of the Open RAN Campus

In addition to various isolated, state-of-the-art private mobile networks, the 5G Industry 4.0 test bed at Fraunhofer IIS offers you:

  • Very high-quality measurement and analysis devices for complex measurement campaigns
  • Equipment for the flexible configuration of the environment, enabling for realistic mapping of production and logistics processes
  • Completely installed localization and 3D/2D positioning systems for the reproduction of test sequences
  • Ongoing development of the wireless technology available at the test bed up to 3GPP Release 17 and beyond
  • Test capabilities with additional independent campus network solutions from alternative equipment vendors
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Infrastructure and equipment

  • Truck accessible industrial facility (44 x 30 x 9 m) with reference systems for positioning and equipment for the emulation of industrial environments
  • Measurement equipment: 5G protocol analyzer, 5G network testing solution, 5G spectrum analyzer for field tests, transport network field test device and many more
  • Indoor area: 8 panel antennas (4T4R) in two different heights for frequency range 1 (FR1)
  • Outdoor area: non-public track with 4 panel antennas (4T4R) for FR1
  • Office building: multi-story building with offices and laboratories equipped with 5G small cell infrastructure consisting of 12 panel antennas (4T4R) for FR1 on two floors
Mobile communications icon

Radio access network (RAN)

  • Two independent campus networks with Standalone (SA) 5G RAN and mobility support
  • Up to 100 MHz carrier bandwidth in the local frequency range between 3.7 and 3.8 GHz
  • Virtualized Open RAN architecture on commercial of-the-shelf (COTS) hardware with open interfaces and APIs
  • Support of URLLC, IIoT and real-time localization applications (RTLS)
  • Further radio access technologies available for technology comparisons: e.g. Wi-Fi 6 / 6E and UWB for communication- and positioning-dependent use cases
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Core network

  • Two autonomous 5G core networks
  • Service-based architecture
  • Integrated cloud and edge computing
  • Suited for 3GPP-compliant network slicing
  • Open interfaces and APIs for raw data extraction and post-processing
  • Support for own SIM cards

Availability and use

If you wish to use the test bed to test your applications, we would be happy to help you start planning and preparing your test scenarios. We can draw up a bespoke proposal for test bed use.

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