Fabriek Logistiek: IoT and 5G facilitate supply 4.0

Published on 10/01/2023 in Solution news

Technology contributes to efficiency, continuity, and sustainability in the supply chain. At Fabriek Logistiek, companies in the logistics sector are introduced to the possibilities. Proximus acts as a partner for IoT and 5G.

Fabriek Logistiek: IoT and 5G facilitate supply 4.0

Fabriek Logistiek offers companies the opportunity to test smart warehouse technology and discover 5G in practice. “The innovation center includes a VDAB training center and two logistics test halls. One 2,400 m² pallet warehouse and one 2,000 m² e-commerce warehouse. Multiple devices, machines, and sensors are already connected here via a 5G PN (Private Network) which is a private, indoor 5G network. But product developers are also welcome here to see how their new design operates in a realistic warehouse environment,” Danny Vanrijkel, key account manager at Fabriek Logistiek explains.

Experience 5G in a realistic environment

“At Fabriek Logistiek, visitors will discover what 5G means for specific applications,” says Eric Ibens, Business Development Manager 5G at Proximus. A 5G PN provides fast mobile coverage inside and outside the building. “Today’s and tomorrow’s warehouse solutions need reliability, bandwidth, coverage, and service quality. These are all characteristics where a 5G PN provides an answer. It acts like an enabler that lets different technologies communicate with each other.”

Different configurations

Eric Ibens points out that a 5G PN allows for different configurations. “For critical processes, you can run the data completely locally over the private network. You can also choose a setup where you control vehicles remotely via local breakouts or create virtual networks on top of the physical network via network slicing. That tailors each virtual network to the specific needs of the applications running on it.”

“Many companies are convinced of the potential of 5G PN, but they are still somewhat hesitant. Companies are wondering how to do and who to partner with. They want to gain experience and understand the investment costs,” Eric Ibens explains. “Together with our partners, Proximus wants to co-create and explore 5G use cases.”

Using several business cases, Eric Ibens illustrates the fact that 5G PN already offers its added value. “The Port of Antwerp-Bruges uses drone technology to monitor, inspect, and detect problems in the port area. This provides a solution for scanning a wide and difficult-to-access area. 5G provides stable coverage throughout the port, with low latency for central and autonomous operations. With 5G, high-resolution video streaming is possible.”

Another example is one from the construction sector, where a HoloLens and 5G connectivity visualize projects in 3D and virtually show you the effect of the (re)construction work while still in the structural phase.

At Fabriek Logistiek, visitors will discover what 5G can do for specific applications.

Eric Ibens, Business Development Manager 5G at Proximus

Test set-ups and demonstrations at Fabriek Logistiek

Companies can use Fabriek Logistiek’s warehouse halls to test existing and new warehouse technologies using their own people, products, and machines. Attendees at Proximus’ introductory session saw how automated guided vehicles (AGVs) – connected via 5G – made their way independently between warehouse racks. The 5G network then guarantees reliability, speed, secure control, and traffic control.

Drone technology also offers various application possibilities in the warehouse. In the demonstration, the drone located pallets quickly and efficiently. Order picking using augmented reality is another warehouse process where 5G technology adds value. The HoloLens tells the warehouse worker which products to pick off the shelves and that makes it more efficient and reduces the error rate. Smart electronic labels make the order picking process even easier.

The use of a 5G scanner is also worth a mention. Attendees will, for example, discover how the scanner shows the warehouse worker which route to take to pick up a particular box. This too requires reliable connectivity. Finally, Fabriek Logistiek also demonstrated the smart camera, which streams and transmits high-resolution images via 5G – wirelessly – for video analysis.

Anyone who wants to test these and other technologies and the possibilities of 5G connectivity for themselves in a low-threshold way can visit Fabriek Logistiek in Ghent. Danny Vanrijkel explains: “The aim of this initiative is to make innovation accessible. The solutions we propose here address the greatest challenges for the logistics sector today, namely lack of space and scarcity of personnel. Companies can hire Fabriek Logistiek with its various technologies and use their own people and products to see what added value it can bring to their current processes.”

Fabriek Logistiek is the first logistics test space in Belgium. This practical test center brings together logistics applications and technologies, knowledge and experience, theory and expertise.

Eric Ibens, Business Development Manager 5G at Proximus.

Danny Vanrijkel is key account manager at Fabriek Logistiek, on behalf of POM Oost-Vlaanderen.

Find out how 5G and AI are playing a role in fully autonomous product shipping at the Antwerp-Bruges port.

Read more

A 5G Private Network is a closed network built specifically to meet the needs of a particular organisation. It offers higher bandwidth, lower latency and more security than public networks, resulting in better performance, reliability and efficiency. This makes it ideal for companies looking to implement advanced applications such as augmented reality, industrial automation and autonomous vehicles.

Read more about 5G Private Networks Opens a new window


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