5G-Connected Paper Mill

5G-connected paper mill

Paper manufacturer Hamburger Containerboard gets private 5G campus network with more than 120 antennas on around 350,000 square meters of factory premises.

The aim of the local 5G network is to digitally connect processes, data and people involved in paper production in the future. To this end, the new 5G campus network will provide the entire site in the Schwarze Pumpe industrial park along the Brandenburg-Saxony border in Spremberg with mobile communications via 5G standalone (5G SA). “We produce around 840,000 tons of paper a year at our site in Spremberg. With 5G, we will further optimise the information, logistics and production processes on site,” says Michael Krumay, Head of Digitalization Operations at Hamburger Containerboard.

Connecting scanners and forklifts

Initially, 5G applications are planned in the area of digital inventory and logistics. These include the connectivity of scanners and forklifts, the tracking of spare parts and document management. The use of IoT sensor technology and mobile apps for monitoring and controlling production and maintenance is also planned. Other planned use cases revolve around topics such as augmented reality, edge computing and driverless transport systems (AGVs).

At the Prinzhorn Group’s Spremberg site, Telekom’s campus network covers an outdoor area of around 174,200 square meters and an indoor area of 180,000 square meters with the latest mobile communications standard. This corresponds to a total area the size of around 50 soccer pitches. Deutsche Telekom has implemented eight additional 5G radio sites outdoors and 116 indoor antennas have been installed indoors. Specially protected active indoor antennas were installed for the particularly demanding production environment with high temperatures and humidity.

Network meets high security requirements

“The 5G campus network in Spremberg is not only one of the largest of its kind in Europe in terms of the technology used,” says Klaus Werner from Telekom Deutschland. “Thanks to its network architecture with 5G standalone technology, the network meets particularly high security requirements and supports important functions for the industry such as network slicing and ultra-low latency.”

The local connection on the production site enables particularly fast data processing. The short paths of the independent 5G architecture support data-intensive applications with ultra-short response times in the millisecond range. The 5G SA network operates on frequencies reserved specifically for the Prinzhorn Group in the 3.7 to 3.8 gigahertz range. Up to 100 megahertz bandwidth is thus exclusively available for networked paper production.

Data traffic can be prioritised

The Hamburger Containerboard is able to flexibly adapt the private network and manage different functions on-demand. For example, data traffic within the campus network can be prioritised for specific applications as required. The closed system is characterised by its high level of data security and reliability: Thanks to a redundant architecture of the local core network, the network continues to function reliably even in the event of an interruption to the cloud-based management portal. In addition, the paper manufacturer benefits from guaranteed and continuous availability.