New £500k digital testbed to create ‘step change’ in smart manufacturing

  • A new £500k digital testbed, which will create a “step change” in smart manufacturing, is being built at Queen’s University Belfast to help develop new technologies and grow market opportunities for businesses.

    A collaboration between Queen’s, BT and Cisco, the project is part of a co-investment to create a 5G enabled digital factory.

    The testbed, which will be based at Queen’s University’s Northern Ireland Technology Centre (NITC), will provide a unique opportunity for local industry to collaborate and explore the benefits of 5G connectivity within their future manufacturing operations.

    RELATED:  Queen’s University honours Feargal McCormack

    The project will build on existing research in smart factory technology, which has been taking place through the University’s iAMS (intelligent autonomous manufacturing systems) Pioneering Research Programme and Project SCENIC, which is supported by Invest Northern Ireland’s Research & Development programme.

     These new technologies will lead companies to pursue increased digitalisation of factories, adopting smart factory technologies including automation and robotics, allowing them to become more efficient, productive and less wasteful and to compete on the global stage.

    The facility will also provide an invaluable resource for researchers at Queen’s to translate their research to industry in the areas of Digital Twin, Cyber Security, Digitised Manufacturing, Sensors and other Industry 4.0 activities.

    RELATED: Queen’s installs Secretary Hillary Clinton as Chancellor and awards 14 honorary degrees

    Head of the Northern Ireland Technology Centre, Colm Higgins, said: “As the manufacturing sector moves towards digital technologies and supporting Industry 4.0, digital testing is vital in helping to improve performance and quality of production. 5G technology offers higher speeds, greater capacity and shorter response times to the digital environment."

    Paul Murnaghan, Regional Director for BT’s enterprise business in Northern Ireland, also added: “As the third largest investor in R&D in the UK, BT is committed to leading the way in creating strategic partnerships like this that will help to benefit local businesses across Northern Ireland. By working together alongside local manufacturing businesses, we hope that the Industry 4.0 manufacturing testbed at the NITC will identify, test and prove real business benefits for the sector with the creation of new smart and automated technologies as we move into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

    Source: Written from press release.

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

    Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Sync NI? Email the editorial team for our consideration.

    Sign up now for a FREE weekly newsletter showcasing the latest news, jobs and events in NI’s tech sector.

Share this story