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Mercedes-Benz Cars and Telefónica Deutschland establish the world’s first 5G network for automobile production

Together with telecommunications company Telefónica Deutschland and network supplier Ericsson, Mercedes-Benz Cars is putting in place the world’s first 5G mobile network for automobile production in its “Factory 56” in Sindelfingen.

The 5G network is being installed by telecommunications company Telefónica Deutschland in collaboration with network supplier Ericsson. Once installation and commissioning are completed, the network will be operated by Mercedes-Benz Cars.

As part of an innovation project that extends over an area of more than 20,000 m2, the 5G mobile communications standard is being implemented for the first time into the running production. The experience gained there will be actively incorporated into plans for future implementation in other plants.

The use of state-of-the-art 5G network technology allows Mercedes-Benz Cars, among other things, to optimize existing production processes in its plant with the help of new features. These include, for example, data linking or product tracking on the assembly line. With a separate own network, all processes can be optimized and made more robust, and if necessary adapted at short notice to prevailing market requirements.

Furthermore, the mobile communications standard links production systems and machines together in an intelligent manner, thereby supporting the efficiency and precision of the production process. A further benefit of using a local 5G network is that sensitive production data do not have to be made available to third parties, the company said.

With the 5G network, the enormous quantities of data required for various test scenarios involving the automobile of the future can be processed very quickly (via “data shower”). The 5G mobile communications standard allows fast data transmission rates in the gigabit range, with extremely low latency and a high level of reliability.

In order to reach the full capability of 5G, short distances are essential. This is only possible via a local infrastructure, as is being implemented for the first time here in the “Factory 56”. The “Factory 56” has been equipped by the cooperation partners with several 5G small-cell indoor antennas and a central 5G hub.

Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations (MO) is responsible for passenger car production in more than 30 locations worldwide. The production network is structured around the product architectures front-wheel drive (compact cars) and rear-wheel drive (e.g. S-Class, E-Class and C-Class), as well as the SUV and sports car architectures. There is also a production network for the powertrain (engines, transmissions, axles, components).

At the centre of each architecture production network is a lead plant that serves as a center of competence for new product start-ups, technology and quality assurance. Mercedes-Benz Cars is establishing electro-hubs around the globe for the production of electric cars and batteries.

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