The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry has announced the trial of a purpose-built 5G network aiming to help manufacturers boost productivity.
Launching in partnership with West Midlands 5G (WM5G), Worcestershire 5G (W5G) and BT, the network will be installed on the MTC’s manufacturing research facility at Antsy Park. The facility will allow manufacturers of all sizes to explore benefits from multi-edge computing and wireless connectivity in digital manufacturing and robotics.
WM5G forms part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s 5G Test and Trials programme. The MTC’s first trial will be one of the first projects in WM5G’s manufacturing work stream.
The long-term aim is to develop a series of 5G use cases bringing 5G connectivity, skills and applications to the MTC core research programme, supporting its SME Digital REACH programme and offering a test-bed environment for their wider customer and partner base.
In a statement, Alejandra Matamoros, technology manager at the MTC said: “As well as establishing a long-term showcase facility to demonstrate best practice and the capabilities of 5G in manufacturing, the MTC’s 5G-enabled use case will provide valuable insights into safe and accurate AGV movement for fleet management in the implementation of…production lines for the smart factory.”
The first live trial will see two robots simultaneously operating to deliver the same task and increase the efficiency of a factory operation developed with MTC members. MTC described the trial, if successful, as ‘an important step in 5G innovation within the sector’, supporting the aim of helping British manufacturing to alleviate risks involved in the implementation of technology solutions.