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Ireland’s first standalone 5G MPN will unlock some truly exciting possibilities for manufacturing

18 Mar 2021
Anne-OLeary-square

Anne O'Leary

CEO, Vodafone Ireland

It’s been a challenging year for the manufacturing industry. Businesses have had to navigate plant closures, changing demands and new health and safety regulations for workers, but they’ve proven their resiliency and ability to adapt. And those that had already scaled digital technologies, fared better. 1

As we move to a new normal, innovation and digital transformation will continue to play a big role in supporting organisation’s operations, building back stronger for the future.

For manufacturers in particular, 5G promises to be revolutionary, improving efficiency and productivity, as well as worker’s safety.

That’s why Ireland’s leading research centre for manufacturing solutions has launched the country’s first standalone 5G mobile private network (MPN).

Demystifying and delivering

Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) is a government sponsored initiative that identifies new and emerging technologies, supporting Irish businesses in this sector to adopt them and retain a competitive edge on the global stage.

Working together, we launched Ireland’s first, standalone 5G MPN.

Running on equipment from Ericsson, this new network will facilitate the development of innovative use-cases in Ireland's high-tech manufacturing community, unlocking some truly exciting opportunities for technology and research.

5G and IoT are designed to enable industries like manufacturing to modernise and redefine smart processes, improve day-to-day activities and assist data driven decision-making. MPN acts like an exclusive 5G network built to cover a specific location. Improving performance, it is able to deliver better service with more control and security.

Thanks to this MPN manufacturers will be able to see the technology in action and understand first-hand the benefits it can bring.

IMR’s strategy is to derisk, demystify and deliver advanced and innovative technologies to Irish organisations, boosting their customer’s productivity and reducing costs through early access to industry leading technologies.

Using a mobile private network, IMR will develop and demonstrate innovative smart manufacturing use cases such as automated production lines, mobile robots and cobots, and augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) displays.

These smart applications require the combination of high capacity (bandwidth), responsiveness (low latency) and quality of service that is enabled by 5G and IoT.

Automated production lines

With 5G, manufacturers will be able to facilitate simultaneous product customisation and maximum production.

Imagine creating a network of connected machines on the factory floor that allow manufacturers to collect, analyse, and distribute data in real time. Enhancing connectivity and keeping workers continuously in the loop will enable manufacturers to acquire and access much larger amounts of data – at far greater speeds – more efficiently than ever before.

AR and VR displays

Imagine a repair engineer looking at a virtual layout of a new production line or machinery and fixing it with remote assistance – all in real time.

Or, a factory worker could familiarise themselves with a new machine or technology without having to physically build it or be present on site.

5G will make this possible by drastically reducing any delays in connectivity and data sharing.

In the UK, multinational car company, Ford, is already benefitting from MPN. Finding new ways to access data and streamline production, it’s helping them to evolve their business to be ready for the future.

Learn more about what MPN can do for your business.

1https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/covid-19-an-inflection-point-for-industry-40

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