Sunday, 07 March 2021

Trio of trials as AE Aerospace partners with BT for private 5G network

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Monday 18 January 21

Midlands-based manufacturer AE Aerospace has joined forces with BT, West Midlands 5G (WM5G) and Worcestershire 5G (W5G) for three 5G trials, the results of which will be shared nationwide

Today, AE Aerospace has announced that it will become the UK’s first SME (small/medium-sized enterprise) to deploy a private 5G network. Working alongside WM5G, W5G and BT, AE Aerospace will conduct three trials using the new technology to demonstrate its enormous value for the UK manufacturing industry, including improved accuracy and efficiency…

Today, AE Aerospace has announced that it will become the UK’s first SME (small/medium-sized enterprise) to deploy a private 5G network. Working alongside WM5G, W5G and BT, AE Aerospace will conduct three trials using the new technology to demonstrate its enormous value for the UK manufacturing industry, including improved accuracy and efficiency.
 
The trials will be taking place as part of WM5G’s Manufacturing testbed, itself supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports’s 5G Tests and Trials programme.
 
The three trials will each utilise the advantages of 5G in separate ways. The first use case, called ‘Machine Time Servitisation’, will see a range of connected sensors throughout the factory floor to allow the machines to communicate, allowing mass data to be captured and processed. This will allow for a more accurate understanding of the machines’ time usage, ultimately helping AE Aerospace to undergo servitisation and offer machine time directly to customers.
 
The second trial, ‘Mobile Asset Location and Calibration Tracking’ will help improve the speed and accuracy of production unit measurement, while the third trial will focus on ‘Product Quality Assurance’, using real-time ultra-high definition image comparison to ensure that faulty or damaged components are identified before they are shipped to customers. 
 
 “We are delighted to have been chosen by WM5G, W5G & BT to develop the 5G Technology which will fast forward our Glass Factory, Servitized programme; by improving our productivity & flexibility, reducing costs and lead time for our customers,” said Peter Bruch, Managing Director at AE Aerospace.  “Post Covid and Brexit, we believe that this support will be a driving force, enabling the UK Manufacturing sector to compete on the world stage.”
 
This is not the first time BT have teamed up with W5G, having set up a smart factory owned by Worcester Bosch in July 2020. At the time, the private 5G network installed at the facility had improved productivity by 2%, with more improvement expected to come in the following months. 
 
As one of the biggest manufacturing regions in the UK, the Midlands has the potential to be a major beneficiary of 5G unlocking Industry 4.0. The success of 5G private network trials like these should help demonstrate the business case for 5G in manufacturing and give the industry an important boost at a time when it is under increasing pressure from Brexit and the pandemic.
 
 
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