The introduction of 5G has accelerated the development of the factory of the future. The smart factories of tomorrow are likely to be filled with sensors, each monitoring different aspects of the working environment. 5G’s high capacity, wireless flexibility and low-latency performance make it a natural choice to support manufacturers in these environments.
The immediate needs related to handheld devices and communications have driven a higher demand for manufacturing equipment that can efficiently handle more sensitive base materials and composites. As technology advances, the demands on manufacturing requirements and capabilities continue to tighten. This requires new and advanced automated manufacturing equipment that has allowed Northfield Automation Systems to increase activity in a very challenging time.
5G serves far more than the needs of mobile phones or even personal electronics in general. The demands on manufacturers related to the adoption of 5G are only increasing and even more will be needed for 6G, with more things than people in the world. In fact, work began on 6G communications in 2020 with over one billion dollars committed, an experimental satellite launched by China to test communications capabilities and promising research with investments happening in many countries including Finland, Korea, China and India. Backing Finland and its partners are over $350 million of new European Union research grants.
Materials being looked at in 6G include graphene and metamaterials (supercapacitors, heat leveling, HEMT transistors, antennas) and many different 3-5 compounds (HEMT transistors, THz diodes, substrates, energy harvesting). As we look to the future, Northfield Automation Systems stands ready to support manufacturers with advanced automation equipment.