5G-ENCODE Project

The 5G-ENCODE project is addressing the expressed requirements of the manufacturing industry

The 5G-ENCODE Project, is a £9 Million collaborative project aiming to develop clear business cases and value propositions for 5G applications in manufacturing industry. The project is partially funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport of the UK Government as part of their 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme. The project is one of the UK Government’s biggest investment in 5G for manufacturing to date.

The key objective of the 5G-ENCODE project is to demonstrate the value of 5G on industrial use cases within the composites manufacturing industry. It will also validate the premise that using private 5G networks in conjunction with new business models can deliver better efficiency, productivity, and a range of new services and opportunities that would help the UK lead the development of advanced manufacturing applications.

The project will play a key role in ensuring that the UK industry make the most of the 5G technology and ultimately remains a global leader in the development of complex composites structures using robust digital engineering capabilities.

The project will showcase how 5G features such as neutral hosting and network slicing can be applied to transform a private 5G network into a dynamically reconfigurable network able to support a wide range of applications (URLL/eMBB/MMTC) including industrial applications of Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), asset tracking of time sensitive materials and automated industrial control though IoT monitoring and big data analytics. Such a dynamic network would enable new business models and creation of bespoke virtual networks tailored to specific applications or use cases.

The state-of-the-art testbed will be deployed across three sites centred around the National Composites Centre (NCC) in the South West of England. In support of the WECA  (West of England Combined Authority) industrial strategy, the NCC plans to keep the testbed operational as an open access facility for experimentation and development of new products and services for the composites industry after the completion of the 5G-ENCODE project.

The location and nature of NCC’s business would ensure the creation of an industrial 5G ecosystem involving multiple industry sectors and SMEs.

The project consortium brings together a Tier 1 operator (Telefonica), leading industrial players (e.g. Siemens, Toshiba, Solvey), disruptive technology SMEs covering all aspects of network design, deployment and applications (Zeetta Networks, Mativision, Plataine), a world-leading 5G network research group (High Performance Networks Group in the University of Bristol) and the NCC representing the high value manufacturing industry

Key project information

Motivation:

Addressing Industry Requirements

The 5G-ENCODE project is addressing the expressed requirements of the manufacturing industry: 

1 – Lack of demonstrable cost-efficiency and return on investment.
2 – Concerns around compatibility and interoperability of mobile networks with existing industrial systems. 
3 – Need for security – control over the security of connectivity and data, as well as the connectivity itself, to assess the quality of service, especially to external stakeholders without expertise in their sector.
4 – Current lack of understanding of how 5G differs from other connectivity solutions 
5 – Current cultural barriers to working digital and IT tech sectors.