Digital twin application cases in 5G industry communication network


Digital twin technology boosts new business formats in the industry, and 5G industry communication network is an important technological realization of digital twin network connection. 5G industry communication network serves as the last "hundred meters" between field networks and equipment. It is the foundation of low-latency, high-precision positioning, and high-reliability communication systems for future equipment, as well as the core of on-site business informatization upgrades in the future of various industries.


What is an 5G industry communication network?
The industry field network is a communication and management technology for data interoperability, and is used between field devices, external devices and business platforms. The concept of Proximity Network (literally translated as Proximity Network) was first proposed in the ISO.23247 digital twin standard in 2013. China Mobile and industry partners have jointly improved the concept and overall solution of the 5G industry communication network. Below we will start sharing industry application cases.


CASE 1: Mechanical Manufacturing
Digitization of machine manufacturing is a typical use case of the digital twins. Taking mold management, the main production resources of manufacturing, as an example. During the production, the staff need to frequently record information such as the mold on-machine time, molding cycle, times of mold opening and closing, and abnormal downtime. The traditional inventory work, generally carried out by asset managers, whom searched and recorded manually, which consumes time and manpower, and may cause data omissions or errors. In the existing passive IoT technology, due to the integration of excitation and communication, passive IoT tags require short-range power supply from the reader when data is upstream and downstream. In most cases, a manual hand-held reader is still required to scan the code. However, the long distance resulted in a low signal-to-noise ratio of the upstream tag, which made the reader unable to demodulate the tag signal.



The use of new passive IoT technology can break through the problem of too-close communication distance of traditional passive IoT technology. The new passive IoT equipment can periodically read and refresh the current position of the mold, the number of mold clamping times, the forming cycle, the materials and products used, and other information, which completely replace the manual code scanning. The new passive IoT can also be combined with a gateway to further extend the communication distance by using the gateway as an active transit node. The core data is reported to the edge cloud through passive IoT tags, which can meet the localization processing and security requirements of business and data during manufacturing production. Data migration to the cloud effectively breaks up the data gap between the entire production line, workshops, and factories to form a unified asset management SaaS platform. It helps to realize the management of the whole life cycle for mold from purchase, use to maintenance, scrap and disposal, solving the management loopholes and effectively increases the marginal benefit of investment and the utilization rate of assets.


CASE 2: Smart Building

A smart building is a typical digital twin that integrates technologies such as architecture, communication, computer, and control, and is reasonably integrated into an optimized whole. With the continuous development of IoT, there comes an inevitable trend of future for smart building.



Take the parking management scenario of smart buildings, which has a strong demand for the industry communication network, as an example. Parking space detection requires high positioning accuracy, and has certain requirements on network reliability, delay and edge computing capabilities. At the same time, considering factors such as reconstruction cost, construction difficulty, and the number of parking spaces, the network needs to have strong deployment flexibility and support a larger connection density. With the help of the identification and precise positioning of the passive IoT in the industry communication network, vehicle entry and exit management and parking space monitoring can be realized. Specifically, passive IoT tags can be used as equipment for vehicle identification and information transmission, ordinary mobile terminals can be used as incentive equipment, and indoor cellular small base stations can be used as communication receiving equipment. At the same time, the industry field network technology based on passive IoT is also expected to reduce equipment costs, and with the help of the positioning capability of passive IoT, it can improve the positioning accuracy of parking navigation and reverse car search in the parking lot, and the whole process does not require manual intervention.

CASE 3: Smart Medical
Hospitals have many types of assets and crowded people, resulting in a very complicated management which requires lots of labor force. By introducing 5G + field network technology, hospitals can penetrate into the scenes that traditional networks cannot reach and promote smart medical services.

For example, in medical monitoring, when an emergency occurs, medical staffs must first search for the patient's past cases before they can provide timely and proper treatment. Traditional manual registration is not only slow but also has a high error rate, which is insufficient for critical situations.



Passive IoT technology can effectively solve such problems. Each hospitalized patient will wear a wristband using passive IoT technology, where relevant information of the patient, including basic personal information and important information such as drug allergy history, is stored, and is encoded through the passive IoT label corresponding to the database of the hospital. Through a simple passive IoT smart wristband, medical staff can grasp the accurate information of each patient anytime, anywhere, and improve the efficiency of treatment.

Additionally, in hospital asset management, passive IoT technology can be applied to track items such as surgical instruments, saving time by reducing manual counting, ensuring that each item is properly sterilized to reduce the risk of infection, and enable well managed inventory. On the other hand, it can also solve the problem of medical staff wasting time looking for equipment. By attaching passive IoT tags to wheelchairs, beds and other items, hospitals can locate them and improve asset utilization.


Co-authors: Research Institute of Internet of Things Technology and Application of China Mobile Communications Co., Ltd., Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Beijing Ziguang Zhanrui Technology Co., Ltd., H3C Technology Co., Ltd., Xuzhou Heavy Machinery Group Co., Ltd., Shougang Group, Nanjing Iron and Steel Co., Ltd., Baosight Software, Baosight Software, MediaTek Inc.


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