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Product Leader Insights: Top Wireless Services and Solutions in Smart Factory, 2021

Gartner says, “Wireless communications will be pivotal enablers of Industry 4.0 and smart factories. To capitalize on the market potential, product leaders at CSPs should prove how the distinct capabilities of wireless communications can augment business outcomes of emerging use cases in manufacturing industries. With smart factories, manufacturers want to reduce cost by optimizing operations, improving the quality of manufactured goods, improving worker’s safety and user experience and creating new value in the long run. Here, wireless technologies will be a key enabler with technologies such as 5G.” 

In this research, we believe, Gartner is exposing three strategies to enhance the wireless connectivity product roadmap for smart factories that product leaders in CSPs can use. 

Actility sees the Industrial IoT as a fast-growing field of application of low-power wide-area (LPWA) networks like LoRaWAN®, due to its exceptionally low power capabilities perfectly suited for the industrial automation world, enabling innovative services for improving efficiency, reliability, and availability of industrial processes and products.  Actility, being at the heart of an ecosystem of IoT sensors and applications makers, offers an IoT connectivity platform, ThingPark, providing its LoRaWAN network server and software to manage both private and public networks, under a unified, scalable, multipurpose IoT network infrastructure. Industrial IoT solutions for smart manufacturing, powered by Actility’s LoRaWAN™ technology,  allow to harness the power of data in order to streamline operations, reduce maintenance costs and ensure quality in the manufacturing process. 

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OVERVIEW

Key Findings:

  • “Manufacturers need wireless solutions enabled by various wireless technologies, but communications service providers (CSPs) prioritize and push forward 5G — which as of now doesn’t provide required functional capabilities, is technically immature, and is not cost-effective.
  • Manufacturers require end-to-end business solutions that comprise various integrated technologies (including AI, AR, edge computing, cybersecurity, and others) on top of wireless technologies, but CSPs continue to focus primarily on wireless solutions.
  • Manufacturers are confronted with challenges (such as diversifying market needs, declining labor force) that are broad and cannot be solved by inflexible business solutions.”

Recommendations:

“Product leaders at CSPs who are designing wireless product planning and strategy for manufacturing industries should:

  • Improve operations efficiency of manufacturing companies by adopting the right mix of wireless access technologies (such as Wi-Fi, cellular systems or low-power wide-area networks LPWANs) in their solutions, which will vary from one use to another.
  • Develop business solutions that focus on controlling cost and enhancing the user experience for manufacturing users by integrating adjacent technologies at various layers of each solution (such as multiple wireless access for connectivity, analytics for data, and AI for business applications).
  • Promote wireless smart factory by exposing modular and interoperable capabilities including connections with your client’s existing system so that various manufacturing needs can be addressed.”
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Gartner, “Product Leader Insight: Top Wireless Services and Solutions in Smart Factory”, published by analysts Peter Liu, Gaspar Valdivia, 26 March 2021. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. 
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