Continental Equips Plant With 5G, First in Europe

Technology company Continental has launched its first private 5G network among its European manufacturing sites. Particularly, it has equipped its display solutions plant in Brandy’s and Labem in Czech.

Specifically set up to fit Continental’s requirements for high-tech production, the 5G network from Czechia’s T-Mobile will further advance the digitalization of production. Particularly, by speeding up communication between employees, equipment, and machines. These include sensors, production robots, and autonomous transport vehicles.

Additionally, it is improving connectivity between Continental plants in the global production network. Thanks to a uniform and secure environment with reduced latency times.

Continental’s first European 5G-plant in Brandýs nad Labem in the Czech Republic.

In total, Continental plans to integrate more than 1,000 devices and sensors into the network at its plant in Brandýs. Covering an area of 5,000 square meters, eight network access points provide the signal for the private 5G network.

“The production of complex display solutions for vehicle cockpits requires innovative technologies already today. The challenges of manufacturing high-tech products of the highest quality and in large quantities will continue to grow in the future. In line with our megafactory strategy, we are therefore systematically focusing on state-of-the-art production,” says Thomas Ebenhöch, head of Operations in the User Experience business area at Continental Automotive.

In addition, Ebenhöch said, “With the introduction of a private 5G network at our location in Brandýs nad Labem in Czechia, we have now reached a significant milestone on the road to the digital factory.”

5G connectivity optimizes efficiency, collaboration

Mobile connectivity not only increases the potential for connecting devices, autonomous transport vehicles, and machines. At the same time, also offers Continental’s production employees additional flexibility.

Guided maintenance of production equipment per augmented reality thanks to 5G.

This allows technicians to collaborate with colleagues on-site from home thanks to comprehensive and fast connectivity.  The experts guide their colleagues in the plant during maintenance work on production machines with the help of augmented reality. For example, without needing to visit the factory specifically for this purpose.

Smart connectivity also makes cross-plant collaboration within Continental’s production network far more efficient, faster, and more effective.

To make this possible, the company collects data from the production process and derives insights and opportunities for improvement for the entire production network. “We are already using the data from our connected plants to determine potential improvements and develop and apply solutions. Along this, our plant in Brandýs nad Labem will play a leading role with the 5G connectivity of more than 1,000 sensors and devices”, says Ebenhöch.

In the medium term, this will create an immense treasure trove of data that Continental will use, for example, to optimize production processes and to predict which maintenance work needs to be carried out and when. In this way, 5G connectivity reduces downtime for production robots and production lines.