Manufacturing Technology company Fitfactory announced they are joining the 5G smart factory project launched by AE Aerospace in January. The project will deploy the first 5G private network in an SME and will focus on 3 use cases to transform manufacturing productivity, working alongside WM5G, W5G, BT and Vision Intelligence.
AE Aerospace operates a high precision engineering facility and produces parts for high-profile customers, including Rolls Royce, Raytheon UK and Moog.
It has an ambitious growth strategy and believes that all three 5G-enabled trials delivered through the project will improve productivity and provide existing clients with a better quality of service, as well as creating new business models and new revenue opportunities.
In trialling 5G, powered by BT’s EE mobile network, the aerospace manufacturer hopes to attain significant benefits. This includes the ability to maximise machine time, provide more accurate assurance that parts have been machined to specification with increased speed and efficiency, as well as being able to eliminate the need to re-work or replace damaged components impaired in transit.
Fitfactory’s Software to add meaning to data
Fitfactory Technology provides Industry 4.0 enabling technology to support the manufacturing industry to adapt to the changing landscape. They help companies to use digital data-driven solutions to help the sector become more agile and productive.
As a long-term provider of the ERP system deployed at AE Aerospace, Fitfactory joined the project to explore how software could collate data collected from the 5G network and transform it into insights. As Fitfactory Marketing Director Alex Knight explained, “5G is set to open more possibilities for manufacturers to digitalise due to the quantity and speed of data that can be captured and communicated. However, this large volume of data can be overwhelming to consume, analyse and utilise effectively. Our role is to interpret and add meaning to that information through ERP and Business Intelligence systems. By doing that, we can set up rules, exceptions and alerts to ensure to present the right data to the right people at the right time to make informed decisions.”
5G Applications in Manufacturing
The three use cases involved in the trial are:
Machine Time Servitization
Firstly, a range of sensors will be installed across the factory floor to enable wireless connectivity between machines, allowing high volume data capture.
With such large volumes of data, the use of 5G, and it’s Slicing feature, will enable faster transfer of information between the shop floor, machines and business management software provided by Fitfactory.
Learn more about how Software can enable 5G in Manufacturing.
Mobile Asset Location & Calibration Tracking
Production units have many surfaces, holes and screw threads that must be measured manually with gauges. By using 5G location tracking tags (like RFID tags, but smaller), the location of assets can be tracked and identified in real-time over 5G. Thereby, this provides insight into where all assets are, who has them, and their current status. The use of 5G’s locations tracking is important here as it is accurate to within 10cm of the location, roughly 10-50 times more accurate than Wifi (1m-5m) and 100 times more accurate than 4G (10m-30m).
This aims to provides 100% assurance that parts have machined and measured to specification.
Product Quality Assurance
Finally, the Product Quality Assurance case aims to eliminate the need to re-work or replace damaged components. By utilising technology provided by Vision Intelligence, AE Aerospace will be able to compare real-time ultra HD images using AI before the finished parts being shipped to customers.
Due to the high quality rendering of images, 5G’s ultra fast speeds are incredibly effective for transferring large files. A file that may regularly take 5 minutes using 4G or Wifi can be transferred in seconds through the 5G Network.
For more information about the project and regular updates, please visit: https://www.wm5g.org.uk/projects/manufacturing/testing-private-5g-networks-with-sme-manufacturers/