CTO, Networks and, Managed Services, Ericsson UK and Ireland
A cutting-edge innovation enabled by 5G allows engineering and design teams to work on the same project in multiple different locations – significantly speeding up the manufacturing process.
It sounds like something from a science fiction movie but, thanks to 5G, it’s now become fact.
In recent proof-of-concept trials with BT and Ericsson, designers and engineers from UK vehicle battery manufacturer Hyperbat are able to work on the same design and build project – even though they are based in multiple different distant locations.
Using wearable VR and AR devices, members of the team have access to ‘a digital twin’ — a digital representation of a physical object in intricate and specific detail. What’s more, the technology allows them to virtually ‘walk around’ and interact with 3D life-size objects and amend product measurements and designs in realtime, enabling them to build a 1:1 scale physical product on the factory floor. It has the potential to have a transformative impact because, wherever they are, team members can see the results of their work come to life right before their eyes.
Connecting the workforce in this ultra-flexible way could change the future of manufacturing for companies like Hyperbat, a joint venture between Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group. The solution offers a world first untethered 5G native experience that will allow design and engineering teams to walk around and interact with a 3D life-size model in real time through a single self-contained device, and without the constraints of a physical connection. This more efficient, agile production can help teams manage workflows much more effectively and enable the delivery of engineering projects at scale.
5G is already having a transformative impact in UK industries and we know that those first movers gain the biggest advantage.
5G is a driver for Industry 4.0 and a foundation for the UK’s future
This pioneering innovation has only been made possible thanks to the high speed, low latency and large data handling capabilities of an Ericsson 5G mobile private network, deployed by BT. As a test case, Hyperbat’s digital twin trials aims to prove how 5G — long heralded as a key driver for Industry 4.0 — will be a foundation for the UK to establish itself as a leading economic and technological powerhouse in the industries of the future.
It’s a powerful reminder that 5G is right here, right now, delivering real business benefits to customers. “5G is already having a transformative impact in UK industries and we know that those first movers gain the biggest advantage,” agrees Björn Odenhammar, CTO, Networks and Managed Services, Ericsson UK and Ireland. “From helping to improve operational efficiencies, increasing flexibility on the factory floor, reducing industrial emissions and connecting teams remotely, 5G can help to reinvent existing business models and enable a true digital transformation.”