5GACIA – Deterministic 5G URLLC for Industrial Automation Testbed

Fraunhofer FOKUS and Fraunhofer IPK build up an “Open 5G Campus Network for the Software-defined Factory” in Berlin, Germany integrating distributed 5G standalone network components from different manufacturers, such as FOKUS and Huawei, to validate deterministic 5G ultra reliable low latency communication (URLLC) in an AGV Use Case within the Fraunhofer IPK central test areal. “We strongly believe that Open 5G Campus Networks will provide the required flexibility and innovation needed for the automation industry. The 5G Campus Network for the Software-defined Factory is a pioneering place to obtain a feeling of the 5G evolution already today“, says Prof. Dr. Thomas Magedanz, Fraunhofer FOKUS.

The joint “Open 5G Campus Network for the Software-defined Factory” in Berlin located at Fraunhofer FOKUS and Fraunhofer IPK is an open environment for testing the end to end performance of integrated 5G standalone components from different vendors within specific customer use cases for the automation industry. In this specific context we instantiated a Deterministic 5G URLLC for Industrial Automation Testbed for 5GACIA. “With the infrastructure consisting of a 5G network and edge cloud, we at Fraunhofer IPK have the opportunity to determine the requirements for automation technology in an industry-oriented environment. This allows us to pursue targeted development. Based on the experience gained, we can provide our partners from industry with the best possible advice on optimized 5G configuaration options“, says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Krüger, Fraunhofer IPK.

The testbed provides 5G coverage to the Fraunhofer IPK machine park using 5G UEs and 5G RAN equipment provided by Huawei, the Fraunhofer FOKUS Open5GCore and specific industrial applications from Fraunhofer IPK. With this, the testbed represents a comprehensive Non-Public Network (NPN) deployment, where end-to-end tests can be performed in order to validate and promote industrial use cases as well as to understand and further customize the wireless network parameters for shop floor deployments. Furthermore, the testbed is used to validate the latest 3GPP technologies within a relevant wireless environment proving towards industry the feasibility of 5G for future industrial use cases.

“The 5GACIA endorsed joint testbed of Fraunhofer Fokus, Fraunhofer IPK and Huawei offers an unique opportunity for industrial partners to get hands on experiences with high performance 5G campus networks. On the other hand industrial partners feedback their expectations and demands on future releases of a campus RAN into a fruitful cooperation, says Josef Eichinger, Head of 5G System design in Huawei Technologies Duesseldorf GmbH, 5GACIA chief delegate and board member.

The goals have been manifold, namely the deployment of a distributed network infrastructure with core network and RAN at different geographic locations, the end-to-end validation of a 5G AGV use case from the perspective of industrial networks, and the understanding the characteristics of a wireless radio environment within a factory shop-floor.

The testbed was used to perform single device measurements for validating the end-to-end communication of the AGV and testing the remote guidance of the AGV movement. In addition, we performed environment understanding measurements by automatic data acquisition using the AGV, as well as data analysis concentrating on exceptional situations.

In the future, additional emerging “open” 5G components, such as Open components from different vendors and new User Equipments (UEs), can be integrated do understand performance impacts as well as new URLLC use cases can be performed in this open software-based factory testbed.