Leveraging 5G in Manufacturing During COVID-19 (and Beyond)

Written By: Alexandra Puig
  • 10/7/2020
  • Read Time : 3 min

U.S. manufacturing is undergoing a positive and powerful reckoning. While bracing for the second wave of the cataclysmic COVID-19 pandemic, the manufacturing sector has expanded at the “fastest pace since late 2018”, according to Bloomberg.

With the new normal setting in – an encore of Industry 4.0 efforts – enterprises are rapidly integrating and strengthening their industrial connectivity efforts to bolster their now remote workforce. If Industry 4.0 was considered to be a manufacturing revolution, then the connection network known as 5G is rapidly emerging as the high-speed expressway that will tie the pieces of the former together.

To quickly back up…

What Is 5G?

The next generation of the cellular network that appears in the top right-hand corner of your phone (think 3G, 4G, LTE, etc.), 5G is the fastest connection available for both consumer and enterprise use. Divided into three speed tiers, low-band, mid-band, and high-band, 5G supercharges download speeds of everything from web pages to data derived from the industrial IoT.

How Can 5G Benefit Manufacturers During COVID?

In today’s economic climate, companies are pushed to innovate upon data at unprecedented speeds. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated these needs with increased pressure to maintain pre-pandemic customer service. However, with the introduction of such innovations as 5G, companies no longer have to choose between implementation of these offerings and planned downtime.

Amidst the pandemic, 5G empowers companies to continue steamrolling towards the following overarching digital transformation goals:

  • Digital Manufacturing: Prior to COVID-19, manufacturers were pushing to achieve digital manufacturing to reduce operational costs while maximizing revenue growth and increasing asset efficiency. 5G accelerates this; it enables manufacturers to realize this goal sooner as they are able to connect their assets in an unparalleled fashion.
  • Service Optimization: Amid the pandemic, technicians in the field have had their workflows upended. Powered with 5G, repair technicians can connect with experts from machinery manufacturers at a faster pace and with augmented reality, they can carry out service on products at minimal effort and cost to both the customer and manufacturer.
  • Digital Engineering: As engineers continue to ideate, develop, and design from home, they are continuously leaning on the IoT to provide data outputs that will inform the next generation of their products. With 5G, companies are empowered to bring their IoT framework to the cloud, thus ensuring engineers can remotely work together on designs in real-time. These engineering excellence efforts let engineers predict, test, and revise designs without minimal product downtime to account for revisions.

What’s Next?

While the manufacturing industry is at the tip of the 5G implementation iceberg, like other Industry 4.0 transformative efforts, the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to progress 5G changes at unprecedented speeds.

Interested in learning more about how PTC can help you take advantage of the power of 5G to achieve your digital transformation goals? Click here.



  • Industrial Connectivity
  • Industrial Internet of Things
  • Augmented Reality
  • Industry 4.0
  • Digital Transformation

About the Author

Alexandra Puig

Alexandra Puig is a corporate communications specialist based in PTC’s Boston headquarters. Prior to joining PTC, she practiced public relations at a leading law firm and life sciences organization. Alexandra earned her B.A. in Political Science from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.