Metallurgical Marvel: SMS Pioneers 5G Innovation

5G image Source: SMS


SMS, in collaboration with Mugler and Ericsson, has established a groundbreaking "private 5G Campus network" at its Hilchenbach location. This initiative aims to propel research and development in the metallurgical industry, addressing challenges in material innovation, energy reduction, and emissions. The network, implemented in a record four weeks, enables real-time data processing and testing of 5G use cases, including mobility, IoT, and worker safety applications. SMS's dedication to digitalization and partnership with Ericsson positions it as a leader in advancing technology for a sustainable steel industry.



In a strategic alliance with Mugler and Ericsson, SMS has ushered in a new era of innovation with the establishment of a "private 5G Campus network" at its Hilchenbach facility. This pioneering venture not only signifies a significant step forward for SMS but also heralds groundbreaking advancements in the metallurgical industry.

The purpose behind this ambitious project is to harness the power of 5G technology for extensive research and development, particularly in overcoming challenges related to material advancements, energy efficiency, and emissions reduction. With the steel industry facing pressing issues, such as the development of new materials and the imperative to minimize energy consumption and emissions, SMS has undertaken the responsibility of implementing high-level automation and digitalization within a real-time network environment.

The core concept of a "private 5G network" involves the creation of a network infrastructure based on a customer-licensed frequency and coverage area. This infrastructure facilitates the worldwide provision and processing of data in real time, paving the way for groundbreaking solutions.

The private 5G standalone Campus network, implemented using Ericsson Private 5G Technology (EP5G) by Mugler, acts as a testbed for various 5G use cases. Notably, this network went live just four weeks after the project's inception, a testament to the efficient collaboration of all project partners.

Tests conducted within the network span applications in mobility and automated guided vehicles (AGV), the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and lone worker safety applications. These applications are seamlessly integrated and rigorously tested at SMS's Hilchenbach site, with a primary goal of optimizing their practical implementation.

Moreover, the private 5G network serves as a platform to practically apply insights gained from various research projects, including 5G-Furios, Horizon 2020's Zero-SWARM, and the CLOUD56 research project by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV). The SMS test environment offers a unique opportunity to internally test use cases and present them vividly to potential customers.

Stefan Richter, Head of Local Networks - Campus Networks at Mugler SE, emphasizes, "This partnership gives us the opportunity to take huge strides in digitalizing the industry and developing new solutions by utilizing SMS group’s footprint in the steel industry and the 5G technology from Ericsson."

Jens Petri, Head of Technologies and Partnerships at SMS digital, underscores the significance of 5G connectivity, stating, "Thanks to the 5G connectivity, it enables the transmission and processing of data to gain insights into the process that were jointly developed and tested at SMS group in Hilchenbach. SMS group is closing the gap between physics, sensor technology, OT, and IT."

SMS's commitment to advancing digitalization technologies and their applications in the steel industry is evident in this monumental step. The private 5G Campus network not only represents a technological leap but also positions SMS as a frontrunner in evaluating advanced digitalization technologies for sustainable value creation chains in the steel sector.


In conclusion, SMS's foray into the realm of a "private 5G Campus network" stands as a testament to its commitment to innovation and sustainability in the metallurgical industry. The successful implementation of this advanced technology not only addresses current challenges but also positions SMS as a global leader in shaping the future of a carbon-neutral and sustainable metals industry.

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