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Cloud Now Runs an Entire Factory, With the 5G Technology Inserted at BMW Group Plant Lands

The BMW Group Plant Landshut supply center has now entered in a new era of digitalisation with the “Robot in the Cloud” pilot project.
Research project "Robot in the Cloud" between BMW Group and Technical University of Munich (06/2022) 7 photos
Research project "Robot in the Cloud" between BMW Group and Technical University of Munich (06/2022)Research project "Robot in the Cloud" between BMW Group and Technical University of Munich (06/2022)Research project "Robot in the Cloud" between BMW Group and Technical University of Munich (06/2022)Research project "Robot in the Cloud" between BMW Group and Technical University of Munich (06/2022)BMW Group Plant Landshut (Lower Bavaria)BMW Group Plant Landshut (Lower Bavaria)
Launched in 2021, at the initiative of the BMW Group’s technology and logistics development team, the research project was designed to explore how self-driving logistics vehicles can be used in a production setting. After preliminary tests under laboratory conditions on the TUM campus in Garching, now the “Robot in the Cloud” project is ready to break the ice at BMW Group Plant Landshut.

The novelty comes from the fact that a data cloud is taking care of all the complex calculations required for autonomous logistics, replacing the old version, when all this process was happening in the vehicle. To be more specific, cameras are integrated into the self-driving forklifts trucks, simultaneously calculating driving movements and determine coordinates with millimetre precision.

After that, the calculations are outsourced to a high-performance data cloud using 5G technology, as Ludwig Huber, responsible for integration at Plant Landshut explains. By eliminating the complex processors and the corresponding hardware, there will be an optimal control of forklifts, reducing downtimes and boosting the performance and efficiency of the entire logistics system.

The new 5G wireless technology allows large data volumes to be transferred within a very short time, enabling real-time connectivity between machinery and equipment. More than that, it also enables billions of machines to be connected and transmit data in near real time, all meeting in perfect symbiosis, an artificial ecosystem designed to streamline factory production.

The implementation of the new system was possible due to a team effort demonstrated by congiv GmbH from Munich, which is installing the 5G network at BMW Group Plant Landshut and provides the cloud solution, the KS Control GmbH from Mintraching supplies the self-driving forklift trucks and the scientific monitoring for the project is provided by the Technical University of Munich.

The 1.2-million-euro “Robot in the Cloud” project was founded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and it took 2 years to reach the final form.

“With this pilot project, BMW Group Plant Landshut is setting a new benchmark for the intelligent, connected factory. The increasing digitalisation of production also includes logistics flows,” explains site manager Dr. Stefan Kasperowski. “Behind the project is the aim of fully connected production, in which autonomous transport systems, logistics robots and mobile devices seamlessly communicate with one another and with the control system.


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