West Midlands 5G (WM5G) has successfully installed a standalone private 5G network at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry. The trial was delivered alongside key technology partners; nexGworx, BT and Nokia, and was a result of the UK Government’s 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme.
The pilot set out to give SMEs, corporate partners, and nearby universities the opportunity to explore private 5G and on-premises multi-edge computing, as well as to drive opportunities for innovation in the West Midlands region beyond the duration of the government-funded programme.
The MTC has recently launched its first 5G-enabled demonstrator system to trial the technology, which features 5G-connected robotics, computer vision and edge computing.
The tests have demonstrated the potential of 5G and advanced connectivity for the manufacturing sector. For example, the pilot demonstrated an automated inspection process which showed how intelligent automation can help to maximise productivity and reduce product waste.
Robert Franks, Managing Director of WM5G celebrated the announcement saying: “Manufacturing is at the heart of the economy in the West Midlands, and at WM5G we are working collaboratively with our partners to ensure that public and private sector organisations can remain competitive in the global marketplace and develop cutting edge technologies to advance their capabilities.”
Alejandra Matamoros, Technology Manager in the MTC’s Digital Engineering Group, added: “Our connected facility at the MTC will allow manufacturers of all sizes, research, and technology suppliers to explore the benefits of 5G in manufacturing. Through our enduring collaboration with nexGworx and BT we are now planning to further build on the initial capability we’ve created here at the MTC to push the boundaries of what can be achieved with the help of 5G technology.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands also welcomed the announcement: “This innovative collaboration between WM5G and MTC will enable some of our region’s most cutting-edge businesses to power forward their pioneering work in computing and robotics alongside our dynamic universities. Given the commitment to Innovation Accelerators set out in the Levelling Up White Paper, this announcement is wonderfully timed”.
The benefits of enhanced connectivity for industry verticals across the UK will be a key focus at this year’s Connected Britain, taking place in London on 20th and 21st September. Head to the event website for more details on how to get involved.
Furthermore, if you’re interested to learn more about the role of connectivity and innovation hubs in the delivery of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda, make sure to join us in Manchester next month for the inaugural edition of Connected North (25th and 26th April).