Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date

Summer 6-21-2023


As capabilities of fifth generation wireless technology (5G) improve, adoption will go beyond current urban cellular networks into industrial settings enabling the IoT landscape. 5G primarily delivers value by enhancing mobile broadband through ultra-reliable, low-latency signals and massive machine-type communications. With the concurrent development of 5G and industrial automation, replacing Wi-Fi and LTE services with 5G networks offers an opportunity to enhance scheduling, latency, jitters, and redundancy in demanding applications. Additionally, the equipment redesigns and upgrades to operate in 5G will pave the way for innovation in operational strategies previously constrained by network capabilities. In this paper, we consider the warehouse operations and functions that are most likely to benefit from 5G adoption. The areas 5G will impact in warehousing are robotic operations, such as AGVs/AMRs; augmented reality devices for picking, training, and maintenance; inventory management through real time asset tracking; equipment battery life from network slicing; and data security. In general, the capacity and low-latency available through 5G will support continuous data transfer that is sufficient to support real-time analytics and decision-making. Knowing which functions will benefit most from 5G will provide strategic guidance for upgrading equipment and operations and aid in developing the factory of the future.

Publication Title

Progress in Material Handling Research