The UK’s first industrial quantum secure network, created by the DETI partnership, BT and Toshiba Europe Ltd, has successfully shared live data for remote manufacturing using Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), over a 2 month trial period. This is the first time the capability has been demonstrated using “off the shelf” components and marks the first milestone in DETI’s quantum programme exploring the practical application of this technology.
This first step of the Secure Inter-Site Connectivity (EC1.4) work programme focuses on the application of secure connectivity in the digitalisation of manufacturing and is one of three key areas in the transformation of engineering. The digitalisation of design, and also the supply chain are two further aspects which are planned in the programme to enable the modernisation of the entire product lifecycle and process.
Quantum to unlock the value from manufacturing data shared inter-site
The shift to fully integrated digital using data from multiple sources – while keeping it secure - is a key enabler to delivering smart factories. The DETI programme tests the ‘real world’ readiness of novel digital technologies by taking them out of the lab and putting them to work on the factory floor.
For this project, the team partnered with BT and Toshiba to install a quantum secure network between the National Composites Centre (NCC) and the Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS), near Bristol, using BT Openreach’s “standard” fibre optic infrastructure. Over the trial period the team then tested this QKD enabled link, sharing production data for measurement and assessment from the NCC’s Overbraider with the design team at CFMS.
The quantum link was established between the NCC and CFMS as part of the DETI test beds funded by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and using the quantum solution installed by BT and Toshiba supported by UKRI’s AQuaSeC project.
Organisations interested in learning more about the Quantum programme or accessing the 5G-ENCODE and DETI test beds can email [email protected].