3 Real-World 5G and Edge Use Cases in Manufacturing

Manufacturing of petroleum industrial plant on sky twilight background, Oil and gas refinery or Petrochemical industry plant with distillation tower

The integration of edge computing and 5G networks hasn’t made a major impact in the manufacturing marketplace just yet, but it will.

Manufacturers are attracted to 5G’s ability to create secure, software-defined networks that combine high bandwidth and performance with unmatched flexibility, and to edge computing’s highly available, easily managed platforms. This irresistible combination could be the missing link for creating the truly integrated and intelligent supply chain that will improve manufacturing efficiency.

As reported in, a wide range of industries are poised to capitalize on 5G capabilities and edge computing, including:

  1. Oil and Gas

Edge computing systems can be deployed at remote pumping and distribution sites, connected via 5G networks to centralized automation systems. For example, monitoring pipelines to detect and communicate data anomalies in real time can help automation control systems respond rapidly to address potential issues. While many of these sites currently have some limited form of connectivity, such as cellular or satellite, these cannot accommodate the large volume of rich data that 5G can handle.

  1. Food and Beverage

Monitoring and optimizing temperature and other environmental controls in transit is a tremendous use case for edge/5G deployments. Gathering rich data onboard refrigerated trucks via 5G and feeding it to analytics engines at the edge allows real-time, automated control to ensure the quality of perishable products, reducing food loss. The same edge platforms can also aggregate and analyze data over time, revealing insights to drive continuous improvement.

  1. Consumer Goods Manufacturing

5G can help replace centralized production analytics with distributed edge systems connected to supply partners via a private network. The advent of appliance-like edge platforms with integrated 5G connectivity will make it easy and cost-effective to include smaller, less technologically sophisticated suppliers, creating a truly intelligent, end-to-end supply chain. Or imagine a use case where edge data from a retail location reveals where your product appears on the shelf in relation to other products. This level of insight could help optimize your merchandising strategy with the retailer to improve sales.

iot industry 4.0 concept,industrial engineer using software (augmented, virtual reality) in tablet to monitoring machine in real time.Smart factory use Automation robot arm in automotive manufacturingHow Will Your Industry Make Use of 5G and Edge?

Explore 5G and edge computing for your industry with IEEE. The IEEE 5G training program, developed by industry experts, is coming soon to the IEEE eLearning Library. Be among the first to access it when you subscribe to the eLearning Library today.

IEEE Introduction to Edge Computing is designed for organizations investing heavily in edge. Bring this five-course program to your organization and train your entire technical team to support this technology.


Fryer, John. (23 Jan 2019). Edge Computing Meets 5G: Rethinking the Intelligent Supply Chain.



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