Monday, April 23, 2018

Ericsson explores 5G use case with jet engine components

Ericsson and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology are exploring a 5G use case that concerns the production of jet engine components.

The components concerned, so-called blade integrated disks (blisk), are high-tech components where the disk and blades are produced as a single piece and serve the purpose of compressing the air inside jet engines. They are milled out of solid pieces of metal and have extremely high requirements towards accuracy and surface integrity.


5G's high-bandwidth and low latency are leveraged for controlling factory equipment. Ericsson's 5G trial system operating on 3.5 GHz is connected to an acceleration sensor mounted directly on the blisk in the production machinery. The vibration spectrum is transmitted in real time via 5G to the evaluation system. The very low latency helps correlate the vibration to the tool's position and enable prompt adjustment of the production process.

Thomas Dautl, Director of Manufacturing Technology, MTU Aero Engines, says: "A blade-integrated disk is a high-value component. The milling process takes 15-20 hours and the total lead time is around 3-4 months, including coating processes and quality checks. The new 5G-based production technology will help make our operations more efficient."

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