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A future defined by continual innovation

Ericsson is creating a world of limitless connectivity, enabling real-time cyber-physical collaboration and highly advanced product design and development in a completely virtual environment. This will redefine business by reducing risk and time to market while creating huge efficiencies and opportunities across the value chain.

A future defined by continual innovation

Connected technologies are enabling leaner, faster and smarter responses to customer needs – seamlessly navigating the relationship between supply, demand, resources, data analytics and the imperatives of social and environmental responsibility.

The future of manufacturing
Digital technology and limitless connectivity will fundamentally reshape the ways enterprises design, produce and deliver their products.

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Building a connected future.

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The pioneers driving the future

Automotive industry

The automotive industry was an early adopter of connectivity and robotics. Maserati has operatives and managers monitoring progress and anticipating problems via VR glasses made possible by introducing a digital twin of their factory floor - giving real time access to performance of the robots and potential maintenance issues.

Connected technologies - Ericsson-implemented AI operation system manages a complex network

At the Port of Livorno in Italy, an Ericsson-implemented AI operation system manages a complex network. Thanks to digital twin technology, the network operator could create a full-scale virtual replica of the entire port. This enables employees to work safely and efficiently in a virtual world, with their actions implemented by machinery in the real one. It’s a blueprint for the future – not just in international freight, but in every kind of industrial environment.

Future factories

What will tomorrow’s design and manufacturing look like? Factories of the future could change in many ways – from the size and scale of facilities, to their speed and output. It’s possible that limitless connectivity will help change the traditional assembly line forever, allowing a more agile and immediate manufacturing process.

The factories of the future will be different. AI enabled, autonomous robots will work in the dark, saving energy. They’ll also be more efficient in other ways too. Connected, sharing tasks, responsibilities and each performing multiple functions.
Mirror world with limitless connectivity

Limitless connectivity will have embedded the use of AI, eXtended reality (XR) and digital twins into production. Precise mapping can create a full-scale digital model of a car, an engine, a building or any other product, on which designers from all over the world can collaborate in real time. More immersive than today’s CAD drawings, it can be seamlessly transferred to the production plant, tested and developed in the mirror world (a representation of the physical world in digital form), and adapted remotely in real time.

Safety and efficiency of the connected systems

The possibilities for customer personalization will be immense. But they don’t just stop at production. The wealth of digital data fed back from the product in use will provide designers and engineers with unprecedented understanding of performance and issues, so they can constantly perfect the design. The product will also be able to be tracked in the mirror world, so it won’t just update designers on how it’s being used but offer a fuller view of where the product is being used, allowing developers to better understand how to optimize performance. Users will benefit from digital alerts, upgrades, and modifications which go far beyond anything they currently receive. This is made possible through AI, where the network acts as an extension of the system, thinking, correcting and adapting in real time to maximise the quality, safety and efficiency of the connected systems.

Self-diagnostic machine

Imagine if with greater responsiveness and lower wastage, factories could become smart, agile and adaptable enough to manufacture the products needed locally, based entirely on quantifiable demand. Consumer focussed industries will discover new tools which could, for instance, help the production of clothes that are personalized and sized for individual customers. Smart clothing could help inform the future buying choices of customers: running shoes could analyse a wearer’s stride, then recommend the ideal pair when the time comes to replace them – and maybe even allow the wearer to digitally try the new pair on through haptic technology.

Human-centric manufacturing: Industry 5.0 and the factory of the future

How will humans and machines collaborate on the digital factory floor?

Industry 4.0 is creating big gains in efficiency, mass production and customized part production. The trend will continue but how will smarter machines collaborate with workers to improve safety and agility?  How will the use of exoskeletons and smart robots (or cobots) transform the worker experience? 
Ericsson IndustryLab research shows that 71% of manufacturing employees view their work as dull, dirty or dangerous work while 80% have been injured on the job.  Enter Industry 5.0 - the next chapter in manufacturing that will evolve Industry 4.0 towards a more human-centric approach. Better connectivity will allow machines to handle many of the risky or monotonous tasks while humans will be able to upskill to take full advantage of their expanded capabilities.  The future factory will revolve around effective communication between humans and machines, as well between machines, to enhance learning, teaching and comprehension and truly maximize the full potential of this digital transformation.   
To make Industry 5.0 come to life, enterprises will need to embrace limitless cellular connectivity to capture the demands from both humans and machines, including the capture of human voice, gestures, and user input, as well as data generated by smart machines and IoT sensors.  

Explore our perspectives

Connected teams are effective teams

The capabilities of connectivity offer huge advantages in the early stages of manufacturing by enhancing the collaborative power of integrated data and design teams. Freed from physical walls and geographical restraints, teams are able to work more closely together across multiple disciplines, rather than remaining in disconnected silos. The result is more fruitful, innovative solutions to production challenges and the changing currents of customer demand.

Better collaboration through connectivity will also help us increase sustainability by helping to reduce business travel, or potentially even the need for it at all. The future of digital collaboration is in real time and uses a full sensory solution, where all your senses can be transferred to a virtual world, meaning touch, sight, and smell enhance the experience. This will allow more enterprises to be able to draw from a global talent pool that isn’t reliant on travel to be in the same place.

Connected teams are effective teams

The end of many networks

Future of one pervasive cellular network

Limitless connectivity could transform the old idea of intranets and extranets. Enterprises will no longer rely on a silo of networks for different parts of their business. Instead, we’ll see a future of one pervasive cellular network, where all functions will be contained. This single network would create an end-to-end system bringing in arrays of data at different stages of product development, design and production – supporting real-time collaboration and enabling flexible localized solutions. An intelligent network would also ensure that it is constantly adapting while searching for ways to become more efficient and staying on top of potential issues. For Ericsson’s customers, this represents major new possibilities for revenue streams while cutting costs and operational overheads.

What is required to make this possible?

The new revolution will make huge demands on network capabilities.

Digitalized & programmable physical world

Making a digital twin requires huge numbers of embedded sensors, all connected and sharing data in real time. And with multiple designers in different locations all working together on the same model, everything needs to be seamless and immediate.

Internet of senses

Concepts like XR and other immersive capabilities will help customers touch and interact with products from anywhere – but they will rely on networks to deliver the experience. That requires extremely low latency, high data rates, and efficient and flexible spectrum usage.

Connected intelligent machines

AI will be able to bring together connected devices and applications and because of the collected data can help make judgements on behalf of the operator. Additionally, using algorithms and trend analysis, it can also see exceptional behaviour and prevent issues too. All of this requires the network to support AI processing power, and for the network itself to use AI to optimize its own performance. Everything will stand or fall on the power and reliability of the network.

Imagine Possible with Ericsson

We are creating a world where technology innovation is a positive and exciting force for good. This is a fundamental part of how Ericsson is working to realize our 2030 vision: a world where limitless connectivity improves lives, redefines business and pioneers a sustainable future.

What possibilities can you imagine? Join the conversation on Twitter. #ImaginePossible

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Are you an enterprise looking to make the most of limitless connectivity? Talk to us about how you can lead digital transformation in partnership with Ericsson.

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