Ford has big plans when it comes to electric vehicles. From the Mustang Mach-E to the upcoming electric F-150, there are a good number of EVs in the automaker’s pipeline. In order to keep up with the anticipated demand, Ford is looking for ways to increase their production capability. One of those ways is by using 5G connectivity.
The automaker recently announced that they will be partnering with Vodafone Business in order to use 5G connectivity to speed up electric vehicle manufacturing. This will be done by installing a 5G mobile private network in the new E:PriME (Electrified Powertrain in Manufacturing Engineering) facility at Ford’s Dunton Campus in the UK. The new 5G network will help address the issues surrounding wireless connectivity in the industrial setting.
“Connecting today’s shop floor requires significant time and investment. Present technology can be the limiting factor in reconfiguring and deploying next-gen 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,” said Chris White, Ford’s 5GEM project lead.
When the installation is complete, Ford says the network will help with the connectivity of welding machines in the manufacturing of EVs. Batteries and electric motors in EVs often require up to 1,000 welds. As a result, these machines generate millions of data nearly every minute. Having a fast, reliable, and high capacity 5G network connected to the machines will ensure that the welding process is consistent at all times. It can also improve their precision, efficiency, and safety, in turn speeding up manufacturing.
While the application is currently being done in Ford’s UK facility, the private 5G network could be implemented in other plants across the globe. Who knows, maybe local manufacturers in the Philippines could do the same too. That’s assuming we get 5G technology soon...which is highly unlikely.