5G Trials in Manufacturing Continue Apace in the West Midlands, England

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By Michael Larner | 1Q 2021 | IN-6054


AE Aerospace Identifies 5G Uses Cases


AE Aerospace manufactures precision components for customers in the aerospace, marine, and defense sectors. Customers include Rolls Royce, Raytheon, and Airbus at its 16,500-square-foot factory in Birmingham. AE Aerospace is collaborating with the West Midlands 5G (WM5G)—created by the West Midlands Combined Authority; the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; and the Worcestershire 5G (W5G) consortium. This involves trialing a private 5G network from mobile network operator BT in WM5G’s manufacturing test-bed. The purpose of the trial is to test how a 5G network can support the aerospace firm’s location tracking, quality assurance, and servitization activities.

Up to now, 5G trials have involved some of the largest manufacturers in the world, such as Boeing (see, e.g., IN-5854) or Worcester Bosch (IN-5726). In fact, nine of the top 10 manufacturers by revenue are trialing a mobile private network. With approximately US$6.77 million in 2019 revenue and 70 employees, AE Aerospace demonstrates that smaller manufacturers are exploring the role and the…

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