The industrial domain is diverse and heterogeneous and is characterized by a large number of different use cases and applications, with sometimes very diverse requirements. Major areas, such as discrete manufacturing (e.g. automotive, machinery, electronics), may differ substantially from others, such as the process industry (e.g. chemicals, oil & gas). This holds true with respect not only to quality of service requirements, but also to typical deployment scenarios and the like. In general, however, common to all relevant areas of application is that a new generation of industrial connectivity solutions may lead to substantial improvements and optimizations.
The following figure illustrates different examples of where 5G may be used to benefit a factory in the future. Promising application areas range from logistics for supply and inventory management, through robot and motion control applications, to operations control and the localization of devices and items. Interestingly, 5G is likely to support various Industrial Ethernet and Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) features, thereby enabling it to be integrated easily into the existing (wired) infrastructure, and in turn enabling applications to exploit the full potential of 5G with ease.