Capturing the Value of 5G in Smart Manufacturing
Abstract: Suppliers of the next generation mobile network, 5G, promises increased performance which can ensure smart manufacturing. Smart manufacturing entails systems of wireless and connected sensors, robots and other devices that together are optimizing the manufacturing process with data. At the same time, 5G has become one of the major technological trends in manufacturing. Globally, efforts are being made to optimize assembly lines through smart manufacturing, but there is no evidence of 5G's promised performance in practice. This study addresses how an industrial company that offers smart tools should capture the value of 5G in the business model. This is done by examining if and what unique features 5G is providing, whether customers are ready for this technology and how 5G will affect the business model. The study is based on a case study at Atlas Copco AB, a Swedish industrial company that operates on a global scale. The collaboration was made with Atlas Copco's business area within Industrial Technique and with the divisions General Industry and Motor Vehicle Industry. Data was collected through interviews both internally at Atlas Copco and externally with their customers and were then combined with a literature study. The findings from this study can be summarized as follows: • 5G enables connectivity that is required for smart manufacturing processes.• Customers are in different phases of 5G adoption.• There is a difference in what characteristics customers value, and therefore 5G will not provide the same value for all customers.• The business model will need to be changed to a more service-oriented model when offering 5G, to be able to fully capture the value of 5G. At the end of the study, a summary is given of the study's conceptual and empirical contributions, as well as suggestions for future work.
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