BT & Ericsson launch UK’s first 5G smart factory
BT has this week announced that it has completed the installation of the UK’s first 5G smart factory in collaboration with the Worcestershire 5G Testbed (W5G) and Ericsson.
For the factory, Ericsson will provide the technology for the private 5G network, while BT will provide “expertise” in all things ‘smart’, including the IoT, data analytics, and mobile edge computing.
The factory itself, owned by Worcester Bosch, manufactures domestic boilers for heating water and is set to benefit most directly from the incorporation of autonomous robots as a result of the project. The initial stages of the 5G private network installation have seen productivity rise by 2%, with more improvements expected as experience is gained.
“We have learnt an awful lot within the W5G Testbed, both about the 5G network itself, but most importantly about the skills and competencies we need in-house, and what data to stream in order to develop a real-time understanding of the behaviour of various machines,” explained Carl Arntzen, CEO of Worcester Bosch.
The benefits of the smart factor extend beyond just improving productivity. Indeed, another of the major benefits is the installation of a network of collision detection sensors, which will make the factory environment much safer for employees.
With the success of this project, BT is looking to expand its deployment of private 5G networks for industry, particularly targetting major manufacturing sectors like aerospace.
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