Techno-economic evaluation of 5G technology for latency-critical applications in production

  • Techno-Ökonomische Evaluierung der 5G Technologie für latenzkritische Applikationen in der Produktion

Kiesel, Raphael; Schmitt, Robert H. (Thesis advisor); Brettel, Malte (Thesis advisor)

1. Auflage. - Aachen : Apprimus Verlag (2022)
Book, Dissertation / PhD Thesis

In: Ergebnisse aus der Produktionstechnik 34/2022
Page(s)/Article-Nr.: 1 Online-Ressource : Illustrationen, Diagramme

Dissertation, RWTH Aachen University, 2022


Networked control systems (NCS) have been and still are main research focus in academia as well as in industry, offering several technical advantages for future production systems: Besides higher flexibility, NCS enable an easier integration of new applications, reduce cabling efforts for large control systems, and mitigate cable breakage. These technical advantages result in cost reduction as material cost, installation, and maintenance efforts decrease, to only mention some. Key challenge for NCS in production is the communication network. It must be reliable and fulfill application’s requirements regarding maximum application-perceived latency. Especially the latter is a big obstacle to deploy NCS in production. 5G technology is predicted to have a significant impact on the deployment of NCS in the industrial connectivity landscape. With an over-the-air latencies of 1 ms, as well as an availability and reliability of 99.999%, 5G technology outperforms current in-dustrial wireless communication technologies. By 2030, a global GDP rise through 5G technology deployment of 4% ($740 billion) is predicted. However, despite the immense prospected economic potential, 39% of production companies worldwide are currently not at all planning to deploy 5G in the future; only 1% of production companies have fully deployed 5G yet. The two main concerns of production managers in terms of 5G deployment are the uncertainty regarding technical use case improvement and the lack of demonstrable economic potential. For both concerns, the added value of 5G technology must be somehow evaluated to release its prospected potential in production. As no approach exists covering the requirements for a techno-economic evaluation approach, the main research question of this thesis was: Does a model-based approach enable the evaluation of 5G technology potential for latency-critical applications in production? The goal of this thesis therefore lay in the conceptualization, development, implementation, as well as verification and validation of a techno-economic evaluation approach for the 5G deployment for latency-critical applications in production. This was achieved in form of a five-step evaluation model. In the first step, the model user specifies the production application to be as precise as possible within the evaluation. In the second step, model user selects the technical and economic performance goals to be quantified to evaluate the 5G deployment. In the third step, the model user configures the latency-critical control tasks of NCS. In the fourth step, the user enters the necessary evaluation data in accordance with the selected goals and configured control tasks of the previous steps. Finally, the model quantifies both the technical and economic benefits of 5G technology deployment for the considered latency-critical application. The model was then implemented in a browser-based tool to enable an applicability, as well as verification and validation. Verification and validation were executed based on two case studies (AGV, milling machine) and expert reviews - forming a basis for further research in the context of 5G technology in production.