Croatian Campus Network – Research and Development Lab on Cards

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, HT and the Zagreb Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Shipbuilding (FSB) have now signed a Business Cooperation Agreement for the realisation of a private 5G Croatian campus network and the practical application of solutions for Smart Factories in the research and development laboratory of the FSB.

The private 5G campus network located on FSB’s grounds will be used for laboratory and auditory exercises and for the creation of final, graduate, specialist and doctoral theses. One of the areas of application of the 5G network is also in Industry 4.0, and HT will set up a production management system (MES) within the same laboratory, applicable for the digitisation of machines of all technological generations, as well as the digitisation of the entire production process.

“5G technology is an indispensable part of every modern system and, due to its wide applicability, it has become a prerequisite for the development of smart industries and cities.

In its effort to modernise and digitise the production processes of Croatian companies, HT sees the potential of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Shipbuilding as a centre of knowledge and a key scientific participant in Industry 4.0. With the establishment of a private 5G Croatian campus network and the practical application of the Smart Factory solution as part of our Smart Factory labs, young engineers will be able to test out their ideas, take a deeper look into their work and new technological solutions using modern 5G technology. We believe that close cooperation between the academic and business communities is the key to further progress and raising the competitiveness of the entire Croatian industry,” said Marijana Bacic, a member of the Management Board and chief operating officer for HT’s business customers.

“The faculty has been working very intensively on strengthening partnerships with numerous innovative Croatian companies through the mutual transfer of technology and knowledge, all in order to ultimately prepare future engineers for the needs of the modern labour market, that is, work with modern technologies and modern employers. In this context, the role of FSB in the light of Industry 4.0 and smart factories is especially highlighted.

The partnership agreement with HT provides the Faculty with a private communication network using both 4G and 5G technologies that will be installed in the newly established Croatian Campus Network research and development laboratory, as well as an opportunity to further intensify both business and development cooperation. The transfer of equipment will enable researchers and students to work on the most modern communication technologies.

All of the above significantly strengthens the capacities of our laboratories in the field of research, development and innovation, and thus contributes to the improvement of teaching at all levels of the Faculty’s studies. In the end, the results of these pieces of research are doctoral dissertations and scientific articles which go on to be published in renowned scientific and professional journals, and that’s something that contributes to the international visibility of the Faculty,” emphasised prof. Ph.D. Zdenko Tonkovic, Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Shipbuilding.

FSB, in cooperation with HT, will promote projects in the field of Industry 4.0, which rely on the use of mobile networks, and which will encourage more comprehensive work on scientific and research projects. In addition to all of the above, by implementing the production management system (MES) from the Smart Factories project on the educational production line of FSB, it will be possible to monitor the benefits of the digitisation of production.

“Back at the end of 2019, the Faculty kicked off a project to develop 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 most modern equipment from the field of Smart Factory has been installed, which, after connecting to a private communication network, will enable students, postgraduates, and those in business to develop their knowledge and experience. They’ll later apply all of that in their own workplaces and thus modernise the industry in Croatia through digital transformation.

In this laboratory, 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 Croatia, both in Europe and in the rest of the world,” said prof. Ph.D. Nedeljko Stifanic, Smart Factory’s project manager.

HT developed this project based on the model of campus networks that Deutsche Telekom launches and develops throughout Europe, all with the aim of developing and testing new communication technologies.

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