Ford Sets Up Own 5G Network to Speed up Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Time

Ford has made plans to roll out a private 5G network in partnership with Vodafone Group to install a private 5G network at the automaker's UK electric-vehicle parts facility in Dunton to speed up electric vehicle manufacturing at its electric vehicle battery workshop, according to ZDNet 

The business technology news website noted that the 5G mobile private network will be installed sometime this year in the new E:PriME (Electrified Powertrain in Manufacturing Engineering) facility on its Dunton campus in Essex.

Just Auto says that E:PriME Dunton will have the fastest connectivity alongside the consortium's second network at welding specialists TWI, based in Cambridge by the time installation will be finished in autumn as it will offer real-time control, analysis, and remote expert support.

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How 5G benefits Ford

Intel has elaborated some of the many features that 5G networks can offer to consumers and industries such as lower latency, higher capacity, and increased bandwidth compared to 4G. These network improvements will have far-reaching impacts on how people live, work, and play all over the world. 

The UK government has funded almost $2.5 million to back a pilot trial at the facility earlier this year as part of an $81 million plan for investment in 5G. This installation will serve as a replacement to its current Wi-Fi network and solve the issues surrounding wireless connectivity.

Ford hopes to utilize the 5G network to speed up the manufacturing process of electric vehicles via the welding machines.

"For a single EV product, this could generate more than a half a million pieces of data every minute," Ford said in a statement. The upgrade will provide faster and more accurate manufacturing control and analysis, the automaker said as noted by Automotive News Europe. Currently, the batteries and electric motors within an EV need at least 1,000 welds.

For the 5G network, fast, reliable, high capacity data capture and analysis will be the key to efficiency. "It will provide "reduced delays, wider bandwidth, improved security and reliability, and faster deployment time", said Vodafone in an article from Capacity Media.

Upgrading to 5G

Chris White, Ford's 5GEM project lead, said that existing technology can be the limiting factor when 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," he said.

Vinod Kumar, CEO of Vodafone Business, said: "5G mobile private networks act as a springboard for organisations, allowing them to rethink the way they do business. In this case, mobile private network technology makes the factory of the future possible." emphasizing his exitement to help Ford with their current move forward as noted by Shropire Star.

You can check out the Ford's 5G Roadmap right here.

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