Hrvatski Telekom and the Zagreb Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (FSB) have signed a Business Cooperation Agreement for a private 5G Campus network and the practical application of solutions for Smart Factories in the FSB R&D lab.
The FSB’s private 5G Campus network will be used for laboratory and auditory exercises and final, graduate, specialist, and doctoral theses. One of the areas of application of the 5G network is also in Industry 4.0. Hrvatski Telekom will thus set up a manufacturing execution system (MES) in the same lab, applicable for the digitalization of machines of all technological generations and the digitalization of the production process.
"5G technology is an indispensable part of every modern system. Due to its wide applicability, it has become a prerequisite for developing smart industries and cities. In striving to modernize and digitalize the production processes of Croatian companies, Hrvatski Telekom sees the potential of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture as a center of knowledge and a key scientific participant in Industry 4.0. With the establishment of a private 5G Campus network and the practical application of the Smart Factory solution as part of the Smart Factory labs, young engineers will be able to test their ideas, papers, and new technology solutions on modern 5G technology. We believe that the cooperation between the academic and business communities is the key to further progress and raising the competitiveness of the entire Croatian industry," said Marijana Bačić, member of the Management Board and Chief Operating Officer Business at Hrvatski Telekom.
"The Faculty works intensively on strengthening partnerships with innovative Croatian companies through sharing technology and knowledge to prepare future engineers for the modern labor market, i.e., work with modern technologies and employers. In this context, the role of FSB in light of Industry 4.0 and smart factories is especially prominent. Through the partnership agreement with Hrvatski Telekom, the Faculty receives a private communication network on 4G and 5G technologies that will be installed in the newly established Campus Network research and development lab and an opportunity to intensify business and development cooperation. The equipment will enable researchers and students to work on cutting-edge communication technologies. All this significantly strengthens the capacities of our laboratories in research, development, and innovation and thus contributes to the improvement of teaching at all levels of the Faculty's studies. Ultimately, this research results in doctoral dissertations and scientific articles in renowned scientific and professional journals, which contributes to the international visibility of the Faculty", emphasized prof. Zdenko Tonković, Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture.
In cooperation with Hrvatski Telekom, FSB will promote Industry 4.0 projects, which rely on the use of mobile networks, and will encourage more comprehensive work on scientific and research projects. Also, by implementing the manufacturing execution system (MES) from the Smart Factories project on the educational production line of FSB, it will be possible to monitor the benefits of digitalization of production.
At the end of 2019, the faculty started developing a modular expert system for establishing discrete production processes based on the application of Smart Factory principles. At the Department of Industrial Engineering, the best and cutting-edge Smart Factory equipment was installed, which, after connecting to a private communication network, will enable students, postgraduates, and businesses to develop new know-how that they will later apply in their workplaces and modernize the industry of the Republic of Croatia through digital transformation. Here we expect the development of new innovative solutions, start-up companies, and international EU projects that will secure a high position for our faculty and the economy of the Republic of Croatia, in Europe, and in the world," said prof. Nedeljko Štefanić, Ph.D., Smart Factory project manager.
Hrvatski Telekom developed this project based on the model of campus networks that Deutsche Telekom launches and develops throughout Europe, aiming to develop and test new communication technologies.