IFM and Ericsson collaborate – with industrial communications on the agenda

One aspect of industry’s transition is that there are greater demands on industrial communications, while the need for flexibility is growing every day. IFM, together with Ericsson, is now collaborating to offer adaptive wireless industrial communications using 5G. Gary Troberg of IFM and Micael Hermansson of Ericsson join Scanautomatic on stage to talk about the companies’ joint work.

Gary Troberg is Head of Digitalisation at IFM in Sweden and has worked with industrial communication at IFM for over 30 years.

– There is a great opportunity for industry to use wireless networks to increase flexibility. Flexibility has become an incredibly important issue, particularly because of the pandemic, which put the need to be flexible to the fore, Gary says.

Micael Hermansson is the Ecosystem Manager for Ericsson’s 5G industrial network and works on business development for industrial wireless networks.

– As Gary says, it’s all about the increased need to be flexible and switch production quickly. The demands for cost efficiency, reduced environmental impact, personal safety and digitalisation also require secure, reliable wireless networks. Ericsson can make significant contributions to industrial automation, and we already have several networks in operation that are used for high-demand solutions. While rapid further development continues to support more complex requirements, 5G is now ready to be used in many industrial solutions, Micael says.

Joint case study on predictive maintenance

Scanautomatic takes place from 18-20 October. IFM together with Ericsson will take the stage to talk about their joint case study on predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance is a technology that relies on data analytics tools to detect disruptions in operations and defects in equipment and processes.

– It is a proof-of-concept project, where we enable cellular transmission of data from vibration sensors, for example. These IO-Link sensors already send a number of digital readings. They are transmitted via router to the receiver so that the software can in turn analyse the readings, Gary explains.

The IMF and Ericsson case study has provided insights into the importance of wireless data transmission in promoting development as well as transformation in industry.

– We found that there is not always an infrastructure in place for data transmission, so it is obviously an advantage if the information can be sent wirelessly, Gary says.

“There is a great need for more flexibility”

Data volumes are expanding rapidly, and as a result, wireless industrial communication is becoming an increasingly hot topic for industry.

– In addition to the ever-present demand for efficiency, there are also global trends driving both IFM and Ericsson Business. Today, a completely different flexibility is required. The pandemic is an example of when production had to be switched quickly and flexibility was required. In addition to being more flexible, there is also a trend towards energy optimisation. Not just for cost reasons – you need to reduce the footprint you have on the environment. This is driving the automation business. Then there’s the trend towards local production. Partly from an environmental point of view, but also because of the unrest in the world, which means we are getting production closer to home. Here too, efficiency and automation are necessary to keep prices and inflation down, Micael says.

– What we can see is that larger and larger amounts of data need to be managed in order to make the right production decisions. 5G can be a very good alternative for wireless communication, Gary says.

Interest in the technology is growing all the time. Cellular technology responds to the need for efficiency, flexibility and personal security.

– We see that wired networks will continue to be important in development, but we also see that local 4G/5G industrial wireless networks are growing rapidly. There is a great need for increased flexibility and gaining more insights into their production to reduce costs and environmental impact. And the rate of growth of the need will not slow down, rather the opposite. Scanautomatic is important for collaborations and dialogues. The pandemic has put a spanner in the works, which is why the event is especially important right now, Micael says.

– Scanautomatic plays an important role for Swedish industry. Everyone who participates can discover new information about the available technology, Gary concludes.

At Scanautomatic, Gary Troberg and Micael Hermansson take the stage together to talk about IFM’s and Ericsson’s collaboration in the development of wireless industrial communications. Scanautomatic takes place October 18-20 at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre.

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