Ericsson, Digital Catapult partner on 5G smart manufacturing

Ericsson, Digital Catapult partner on 5G smart manufacturing

25 September 2020 | Natalie Bannerman

Cover

Three UK manufacturers have joined an Industrial 5G Accelerator program as part of a collaboration between Ericsson and UK digital technology innovation centre, Digital Catapult.

“Technology has a vital role to play as the world recovers from Covid-19 and 5G presents a great opportunity for the UK to boost British businesses, transform its enterprise sector and build a world leading digital economy,” said Iain Thornhill, vice president of service providers & IoT, Ericsson UK & Ireland.

“Through our dedicated network portfolio, we are providing business critical industries with highly reliable, scalable and easy to deploy connectivity solutions, helping to accelerate 5G adoption across the country and position the UK as a leading 5G nation.”

Seagate, Siemens and Tharsus joined the program to co-develop 5G use cases to unlocked business efficiencies through the use of advanced wireless technologies and to show the potential of 5G in specific business sectors.

“We want to ensure that the best aspects of technology adoption continue post-pandemic and drive new value into our economy. Collaboration remains fundamental to successfully achieving this, and with the addition of these three leading industrial businesses, the Industrial 5G Accelerator is in prime position to capitalise on the best of UK manufacturing skills and innovation,” added Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult.

“The road to embedding 5G fully into an industrial environment might be a long one, but this project is a big leap forward in terms of demonstrating the transformative capability of 5G for UK industry.”

All three companies will be working alongside Ericsson, Digital Catapult and selected UK mobile network operators to develop smart manufacturing opportunities that focus on improvements for productivity, flexibility and connectivity in an industrial setting.

“Industrial 5G enables the flexible factory of tomorrow. With its high data rates, reliable and powerful broadband transmission, and ultra-short latencies it will enable a significant boost in efficiency and flexibility in industrial value creation,” added Ian Poulett, business manager for industrial communications at Siemens Digital Industries.

“With OFCOM creating opportunities with its shared spectrum initiative for local use this enables a wide range of sectors to use wireless connectivity to benefit their business and customers. Only with local private networks will the maximum benefit be achieved. That’s why Siemens is embracing this new communication standard right from the start and is supporting its standardisation and industrial implementation by developing a corresponding portfolio.”

The Industrial 5G Accelerator is a bespoke, challenge-led program designed to accelerate the adoption of 5G within UK industries and help companies understand how 5G can transform products and services.

“As an organisation we are driven by solving real world problems with the most appropriate technology rather than simply finding potential applications for technology. To be effective at this we need to have a broad understanding of what is possible and a strong collaborative network with deep technical expertise to work with,” said Dave Swan, CTO at Tharsus.

“We are excited to be involved in this Industrial 5G Accelerator programme because it allows us to understand and characterise 5G in a supported environment and with the recognised leaders in the sector. We can experiment and test with it so we become experienced in what makes a good or a poor potential use case for 5G. This will allow to be confident that when a great use case project presents, we and our widened network will deliver”