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Peter Macus: First private 5G campus network in favour of the industrial revolution

CEIT recently announced that in cooperation with the largest Slovak operator Slovak Telekom, it is planning a joint project to build a 5G private campus network on the premises of its R&D Centre in Zilina, Slovakia. We talked about the project as well as the advantages of 5G technology and the campus network directly with the company's Chief Technology Officer, Mr. Peter Macus. He is the initiator and owner of this project in CEIT and oversees its smooth course and use for the needs of the principles of Industry 4.0.

macus peter ceit

Could you first tell us what 5G technology is and what its benefits are for the industry?

5G is the fifth generation of mobile communication technology and is considered a major advance. It offers users a wider range of frequencies and thanks to the speed and volume of data transmission, it is a prerequisite for their real-time transmission, which serves as the basis for the possibilities of a high degree of automation in the industry. 5G technology in the industry will enable mutual communication and centralized control of machines and mobile production and logistics equipment remotely with immediate response time. Diagnostics with the use of virtual and augmented reality, or remote service will also be more accessible.

Logistics itself is a part of industry and artificial intelligence is finding more and more use here. How do you perceive the use of 5G technology in logistics?

In the field of logistics, the 5G network can provide advanced monitoring of material transfer in real time, optimization of logistics flows, and the possibility of diagnostics and visualization of logistics routes and equipment remotely with the help of virtual reality. Perhaps the most significant use thanks to the implementation of 5G technology will be recorded by the development of the mentioned artificial intelligence in sectors where speed of digitization and lack of data was the main issue. The 5G network supports fast device responses and allows immediate response of AI algorithms. Genuine 5G technology allows the connection of a large number of new devices, which were previously very difficult to connect. 

The R&D Centre of your company will soon become the first 5G campus network in Slovakia. What does it mean and how will it work?

Campus networks are local private wireless networks built for individual buildings or entire production plants. They operate independently of the public mobile network and, unlike in the public mobile network, there is a possibility that only selected devices located on campus can be used on this campus network thus increasing the level of security and control. In addition, networks can be easily adapted or combined with public networks.

And as for the operation, as it is a private network, the communication will take place via a private 5G antenna, which will be installed in the R&D Centre of our company. The infrastructure of the 5G CEIT campus will also include a complete local infrastructure, such as servers, network elements and so on. The devices will communicate using 5G modules, which means that each device that we want to connect to the 5G network must have a specific module allowing it to communicate within the campus infrastructure.

Can you share any specific parameters?

Of course, the guaranteed latency, i.e. the speed of response, will be 10ms. Experimentally, our company will test applications at a level of about 4ms, while the typical stable data transfer rate of the CEIT campus will be 200 Mb/s for downlink and 70 Mb/s for uplink for a large number of devices at the same time.  

How do you plan to use these advantages in CEIT in favour of the industrial revolution?

First of all, we want to create space for industrial companies to test the possibilities and potential advantages, where they could benefit, if they set up such a private network in their operations. These can be various applications of production, robotics, warehousing, distribution, and the like. The possibilities of use in the field of virtual and augmented reality are also interesting. In all these areas, CEIT has its own products and approaches that will gain wider application possibilities using 5G technology. 

Could you be more specific?

CEIT strategically develops 3 basic areas, which are logistics automation, Digital Factory, and the concept of Smart Factory. As part of logistics automation, 5G technology will be applied to intelligent mobile robots, so-called AGVs, which take care of reliable, efficient and secure automatic logistics in industrial halls. They process production data, react flexibly and can even make independent decisions.

 ceit 5g kampusova siet

What about the concepts of Digital Factory and Smart Factory?

The Digital Factory works with a comprehensive digital image of a real plant, which allows changes to be made and their impact to be seen before they are implemented. Digital Factory tools are most often used in the design of new production systems, in the design and optimization of the layout of production and logistics systems, or in the detailed design of workplaces. The Digital Factory is the basis for advanced manufacturing systems in the sense of Industry 4.0. and it is digitalisation that enables companies to prepare for the revolutionary changes in production that are happening right now with the onset of 5G networks. 

On the other hand, the Smart Factory concept works with a comprehensive virtual image of a real factory, where using 5G networks, communications tools and sensor systems can generate huge amounts of data and provide information on the current state of the production system. This enables virtualization of the production environment.

And if I want to be very specific, examples of applications include automatic material transport, localisation, and monitoring of objects (tools, equipment) in real time - RTLS, online monitoring, analysis and navigation of logistics technology, data collection and evaluation to increase productivity, electronic kanban (E-kanban), and such.

As I have already mentioned, CEIT has its own R&D Centre and we plan to use 5G technology to develop activities and carry out specially dedicated research for production applications, which include both production and logistics. It is 5G technology that will allow us to work on research, which we, as an innovative technology company, want to focus on.

To sum up, could you explain the intention of cooperation between your company and the operator Slovak Telekom?

The goal of building a private 5G campus network in our development centre is the fact that thanks to our research and testing other, possibly smaller, companies, which might be considering this technology and want to know in advance the scope of use for their specific purposes, will be able to test the specific features of 5G technology. Our company will make the infrastructure available to such companies free of charge and provide the opportunity to try out 5G technologies without any investment and with our support.

CEIT as the first Slovak 5G campus network for Slovak Telekom

On December 10, the innovative technological company CEIT, a.s. together with the largest Slovak multimedia operator Slovak Telekom announced a joint project to build a 5G private campus network on the premises of the CEIT Research and Development Centre in Zilina. CEIT will be the first in Slovakia to be able to use its own 5G local private wireless network, which operates independently of the public mobile network and is adapted to the individual needs of the company and the principles of Industry 4.0.

As part of its long-term strategy to developing the concept of the Digital Enterprise, CEIT plans to use the 5G network to advance technological and process innovations for logistics and production systems, artificial intelligence, and their practical use in industry to achieve higher productivity, optimization and digitization.

The application of 5G technology will bring industrial companies wider possibilities of high degree of automation, including mutual communication of industrial modules, their coordination and centralized control with immediate response time. The 5G network will also enable remote control of machines and mobile production and logistics equipment as well as their diagnostics using virtual and augmented reality, or their remote maintenance. In the field of logistics, the 5G network can provide advanced monitoring of material transfer in real time, optimization of logistics flows and the possibility of diagnostics and visualization of logistics routes and equipment remotely with the help of virtual reality. Dramatic progress can also be made in the advancement of artificial intelligence, especially in segments whose development has been impaired by a lack of data and a low speed of digitization. In addition, 5G technology ensures the immediate response of AI algorithms and the connection of a large number of new devices, which previously could only be connected with great difficulty.

An irreplaceable advantage of 5G technology in services is the simplification of access to real-time data for end users, customers, or suppliers. It will provide healthcare with the opportunity to use remote support for patient diagnosis through "live" broadcasting directly to the outpatient clinic and hospital, or tele-medicine using augmented reality. In addition, proactive maintenance of medical devices will prevent their faulty conditions. Deployment of 5G technology in energy sector would represent an increase in work safety, such as remote monitoring and control of equipment in real time, where the main benefit can be an increase in work safety.

 

"I consider the networks of the fifth generation to be an evolution that makes a true revolution possible," explains Ing. Peter Macus, PhD., Chief Technology Officer of CEIT. "Data is the basis of every progress. It is possible to change processes, companies or society mainly based on data. The construction of the 5G campus is the result of CEIT's many years of efforts to research and develop new approaches in technical innovation as well as in the digitization of processes. I believe that CEIT together with Telekom will move accelerate Slovakia on the path to a technological revolution with the help of this evolution,” adds Peter Macus.

 

“We are very pleased to build the first 5G campus network for CEIT, which brings innovations in the field of industrial automation. Together, we open up new opportunities for the digitization of Slovakia and I believe that we will help develop the potential of Slovak companies. The rapid adaptation of fifth generation networks will enable Slovakia to start the digital economy and gain an edge and competitive advantage in the global market,” Dusan Svalek, Director of Slovak Telekom in Slovakia.

 

Advantages of the 5G campus network

The campus network is a local private wireless network that operates independently of the public mobile network, is tailored to individual needs for specific applications and meets current but especially future requirements in the field of Industry 4.0. The advantage of the campus network is that it provides the ability to use only selected devices within the campus, which increases the level of security and control. This network can also be adapted or combined with public networks. The goal of campus networks is to provide companies with the opportunity to use modern digital communication technologies with the support of 5G wireless networks to streamline their work, production, and operational processes. By using private 5G campus networks, industrial enterprises will also gain high security, reliability, high data rates with low network latency as well as the ability to connect a huge number of devices to the network. The combination of 5G technology and a private campus network brings revolutionary digitization opportunities in manufacturing industries as well as in logistics, healthcare, trade, and many others.

Change in the management of CEIT

ŽILINA, 23 September 2020 – In the Žilina technological company CEIT, a.s. (a member of the Asseco Central Europe Group since 2017) there is a change after almost four years in the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer. On 22 September 2020, Andrea Chudá, who has been active in major foreign companies for many years, took over the management of the company, known mainly for its innovations for industry.

Boris Duľa, the current Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of CEIT, a.s., remains a member of top management and as Chief Sales Officer he wants to focus mainly on the development of business activities on an international scale. At the same time, he remains a member of the company's Board of Directors.

CEIT is a company with huge innovation potential that provides very complex solutions in the field of industrial automation, digitization and smart logistics, or sophisticated tools for smart factories of the future. I enthusiastically and respectfully accepted my appointment as CEO and Chairwoman of the Board. I look forward to working with the entire team to lead CEIT in the next phase of the transformation to an even more successful technology company”, said the new CEO and added that she appreciates the decision of his predecessor to remain part of the CEIT team and, with full commitment, build a business strategy not only in the domestic but especially in the foreign markets.

Ing. Andrea Chudá graduated in commercial engineering at the Faculty of Commerce of the University of Economics in Bratislava. She has many years of experience in managing business and marketing activities in the retail and corporate areas, as well as in financial institutions not only in Slovakia, but also in Russia, Romania and China. Her entrepreneurial thinking and competencies are also confirmed by several of her own successful projects in the field of online business, consulting or tourism.

The current composition of the Board of Directors of CEIT, a.s. as amended on 22 September 2020:

Ing. Andrea Chudá – Chairwoman
Ing. Boris Duľa
Ing. Peter Mačuš, PhD.
Ing. Martin Markovič
Ing. Andrej Štefánik, PhD.

CEIT is a company providing comprehensive solutions in technical and process innovations, industrial automation, digitization, smart logistics, structural and materials engineering. The company's mission is to support productivity, efficiency and growth of competitiveness of industrial enterprises. The company based in Žilina successfully operates in the region of Central and Western Europe, its customers include major industrial companies, especially in the automotive, engineering, chemical and electrical industries. CEIT has been part of the international Asseco Group since 2017.

Latest state-of-the-art logistics robots from a Slovak manufacturer deployed in ŠKODA AUTO

Smart control, connection directly to production, advanced orientation in space thanks to synchronization of the real and virtual worlds. Such features characterize the most modern types of logistics robots from the portfolio of the Žilina technology company CEIT. These state-of-the-art robots are currently deployed by the largest Czech car manufacturer in its plants. Unattended robotic AGVs no longer need magnetic tape on the floor of an industrial hall. ŠKODA AUTO, a leader in introducing Industry 4.0 innovations on the Czech market, has implemented more than 130 such modern robots in its logistics processes.

The new logistics AGVs utilize an advanced level of control and navigation. They scan the environment and static objects in the hall, with the paths represented virtually in the software environment. The system imports the floor layout of the deployment site and synchronizes the real and virtual worlds. Magnetic tape is no longer needed. Navigation and control have moved even more to the virtual world and represent another important step in the internal logistics innovations of the largest Czech carmaker. "We are constantly striving to innovate, optimize transport processes and streamline the flow of material through increasingly advanced automation," says David Strnad, Head of Logistics at ŠKODA AUTO. As he added, the transition to a new type of navigation no longer requires interventions in the floor, and also significantly increases the flexibility in modifying the paths.

"Robotic AGVs are directly connected to the individual workplaces in the hall and immediately adapt to the current situation, thus increasing productivity. The material is brought to the assembly line exactly at the time when it is need," explains Peter Mačuš, CEIT Technical Director. According to him, the system assesses traffic conditions and transmits information important for decision-making and management of individual parts of the logistics process and logistics resources. At the same time, it collects information for later analysis and logistics optimization. Monitoring enables a clear display of the status and position of individual logistics resources. In addition, logistics process managers can influence individual elements in real time.

With this project, ŠKODA AUTO confirmed its long-term cooperation with CEIT in the automation of internal logistics. The first AGV, including automatic peripherals, started moving in the car's assembly hall in September 2011. Since then, the company has delivered dozens of robotic trucks with a number of special equipment to the plant. These devices and tools increase logistics productivity, bring to the halls a higher level of automation, reliability, flexibility and especially safety in cargo handling. The current fleet also includes a new type of AGV set with a load capacity of up to six tons. The logistics system is complemented by automatic peripherals, which are used to transport and transship cargo.

 V ŠKODA AUTO nasadili najnovšie logistické roboty slovenského výrobcu CEIT web

CEIT is a company providing comprehensive solutions in the field of technical and process innovations, industrial automation, digitization, smart logistics, and design, structural and materials engineering. The company's mission is to support productivity, efficiency and growth of competitiveness of industrial enterprises. The company based in Žilina successfully operates in the region of Central and Western Europe. Its customers include major industrial companies, especially from the automotive, mechanical engineering, chemical and electrical industries. CEIT has been part of the international Asseco group since 2017.

 

INDUSTRY NEEDS TO BE MORE “SMART” AFTER THE CRISIS

Every crisis brings opportunities – the weaker ones will not survive, on the contrary, the healthy ones have a chance to develop even more. What opportunities does the corona crisis offer to Slovak industry? Nowadays, efforts are logically focused on revitalizing production processes, but productivity and optimization of production will determine success in the medium term. In other words – modern management methods, digital twins, automation, collaborative robotics, artificial intelligence… The crisis is thus an opportunity to modernize the industry. 

We will talk about these and many other topics at the SMART INDUSTRY 2020 conference organized by CEIT & SME. The conference has been postponed to October 12.-13, 2021.