Leonardo/O2 demonstrate 5G private networks advantages
On a mission to investigate innovative applications of private 5G technology in the defence and security industry, Leonardo’s Innovation and Technology Incubator Centre (Edinburgh) has partnered with O2 (Telefónica UK).
Proposed uses of 5G
As part of the partnership the two propose to use secure, high-bandwidth mobile data to facilitate next-generation ‘future factory’ manufacturing capabilities, as well as provide high speed and secure information services.
To achieve this, O2 will provide a secure 5G private network, as well as a range of Industry 40 applications to evaluate their use for the digital transformation of business and end-to-end manufacturing processes.
Believing in the large potential 5G technology can provide, Leonardo and O2, believe the technology can meet the high security standards demanded by the defence sector, providing security assurance within digital infrastructure.
“5G will be an important tool for the UK’s aerospace, defence and security industry as we look to stay competitive in the global market and continue to export products and services from the UK. This partnership with O2 will inform the roll-out of this technology within Leonardo and study its wider potential across our industry and customer base,” said Norman Bone, Chair and Managing Director of Leonardo UK.
Upcoming projects for Leonardo and O2
During the partnership, Leonardo and O2 will trial the potential for wirelessly delivering mission, support and maintenance data updates to aircrafts to speed up turnaround and times between missions, as well as improve platform reliability and meet stringent security requirements for front line military systems.
In addition the two will also investigate ways in which Leonardo’s manufacturing facilities can use 5G enabled technology to support ‘future factory’ techniques, including digital manufacturing and intelligent infrastructure. To achieve this the company will harness a private and highly secure 5G network to adopt industry 4.0 approaches while continuing to meet the security obligations.
“The partnership will explore how we can use 5G private networks in the wider defence sector, demonstrating their capability to help digitally transform a business and leveraging our ability to draw from a deep and rich application ecosystem. It’s great to be working on such an exciting programme, to leverage the technical capabilities of both businesses that’ll have real positive impacts on network solutions, mobility and security,” added Jo Bertram, MD of Business at O2.
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.