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News | 25 Jun 2020

How Ford and Vodafone are creating the 5G ‘factory of the future’

Vodafone Business has partnered with Ford to implement 5G connectivity in its new E:PriME (Electrified Powertrain in Manufacturing Engineering) facility in Essex.

The project, which is set to be complete in Autumn this year, promises to reduce delays in manufacturing, increase bandwidth across the campus, improve security and reliability, and increase productivity.

Vinod Kumar, CEO, Vodafone Business, said: “5G mobile private networks [MPN] act as a springboard for organisations, allowing them to rethink the way they do business.

“In this case, MPN technology makes the factory of the future possible. It allows machines and computing power to co-ordinate in real time, improving precision, efficiency and safety.

“We’re excited to help Ford plan for the future of its business.”

Once the installation is complete, the blue-chip car manufacturer will primarily focus on using the connectivity for its welding machines in the manufacture of electric vehicles. According to Ford, batteries and electric motors within an electric vehicle require around 1,000 welds.

Chris White, Ford’s 5G Electric Manufacturing project lead, said: “Connecting today’s shop floor requires significant time and investment. Present technology can be the limiting factor in re-configuring and deploying next-generation manufacturing systems.

“5G presents the opportunity to transform the speed of launch and flexibility of present manufacturing facilities, moving us towards tomorrow’s plants connected to remote expert support and artificial intelligence.”

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who has backed the roll-out of 5G, said: “We’re determined to harness this revolutionary technology to boost the productivity and growth of UK industries.

“We want Britain to be a world leader in 5G, and since 2017 the government has invested millions in ground-breaking test-beds and trials across the country to achieve this.”

  • Click here for the full press release.

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