02 December 2021
Bristol, 2nd December 2021: Today, 5G-ENCODE, a pioneering project that aims to make the benefits of 5G a reality for UK manufacturers, announces that it has hosted the launch of its 5G network at the National Composites Centre (NCC). Stakeholders from across the industry, including project partners and prospective network users, joined the event to see the network in action.
Attendees were able to view live demonstrations of the use cases 5G-ENCODE has been testing: augmented reality and virtual reality to support design, manufacturing and training; monitoring and tracking time-sensitive assets; automated preforming technology; and wireless real-time in-process monitoring and analytics. Attendees also had the opportunity to tour the test bed and facility and hear from key stakeholders including Dan Norris, West of England Combined Authority Mayor, Vassilis Seferidis, CEO, Zeetta Networks, project lead at 5G-ENCODE, and Marc Funnell, Director of Digital Engineering, NCC, the project hosts.
Key to the success of 5G-ENCODE’s use cases has been the deployment of network slicing and splicing technology developed by leading 5G-ENCODE consortium partner Zeetta Networks. The technology enables operators to create multiple virtual networks that can be customised according to specific services and traffic levels needed, improving efficiency, performance and business output.
Vassilis Seferidis, Founder and CEO, Zeetta Networks, says: “We are incredibly proud to have hosted this event for our stakeholders showcasing how far the project has come. Launching the network, as planned, in just over 12 months despite the challenges we have faced this past year, is a testament to our partners’ hard work. I am honoured to be part of the team building the technology that will revolutionise the manufacturing industry.”
The NCC’s expertise and experience with building, developing and maintaining test bed environments have been instrumental in keeping 5G-ENCODE on target. The state-of-the-art 5G test bed now underpins the NCC’s Digital Engineering offering to market, providing open technology access to a range of virtual and physical industrial test beds in a secure environment with expert knowledge and skills.
Marc Funnell, Director of Digital Engineering, NCC, added: “Manufacturers need to develop sustainable, high-performance products with reduced cost and time to market using low carbon processes which can be accelerated using test beds that exploit the power of emerging technologies such as 5G. What we have demonstrated through our manufacturing industry use cases are the potential efficiencies in product, process and productivity through 5G that can enable innovation.”
In support of the progress that 5G-ENCODE has made, Dan Norris, West of England Combined Authority Mayor shares, “It’s a real privilege to have been invited to launch the industrial 5G network at the National Composites Centre. This is a real vote of confidence in our region’s brilliance; it’s cutting edge technology which puts the West of England firmly on the map as a digital powerhouse. The 5G-ENCODE project is testing innovations which could revolutionise the UK manufacturing sector, making it more efficient and sustainable. It will create high-skilled jobs right here in our region and bring in investment. It’s good news for the West of England and GB PLC.”
Attendees at the event were able to take part in four demonstrations to bring to life the use cases for 5G-ENCODE’s network:
- Asset Tracking: attendees were given an RFID tag, tracking their movements throughout the event, and a visualisation of their movements.
- Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality 360 Training: delegates tested the AR/VR equipment, with the available information transmitted over the 5G network was shared via a visual dashboard.
- Composite Resin Infusion: attendees saw a display of the dashboard showing data collected from the resin infusion process.
- Composite Verification: delegates saw a demonstration of a composite part being scanned using a robot and sending data across the 5G network from the sensor to the processing system.
The event follows the launch of the project’s 5G network in September, against which it is actively testing its use cases.