Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) and Vodafone Ireland today announced the launch of the country's first 5G standalone mobile private network (MPN) in IMR's Mullingar manufacturing facility. 

The wireless equipment from Ericsson enables Vodafone to provide a 5G standalone edge core and radio private network to IMR. 

It said this network will facilitate the investigation and development of innovative use-cases in Ireland's high-tech manufacturing community.

IMR aims to de-risk, de-mystify and deliver advanced and innovative technologies to the Irish manufacturing sector, boosting productivity and reducing cost through early access to industry leading 5G technologies. 

It said the equipment from Ericsson enables any company to connect to their factory business operations environment efficiently and securely.

Sinéad Bryan, Vodafone Ireland Business Director, said that 5G IoT applications for smart manufacturing in Ireland is wonderful news for the future of the industry here.

"This mobile private network and the development of IoT applications will make it possible for IMR's members and partners to achieve today, what they need to stay competitive tomorrow," she said. 

"Vodafone's dedicated 5G network will provide reliability, device density, scalability, quality of service and enhanced safety that currently cannot be achieved.

"Working with IMR, our technology partners and customers will be empowered to explore and develop new use cases that 5G technology enables - helping to future proof Irish industry," she added.

IMR's Dr Niall Aughney said the company is looking to integrate 5G capability into its Digitisation and Industry 4.0 strategies.

This will enable it to demonstrate to SME owners, CTOs, CIOs and COOs in larger organisations how 5G can offer cost competitive solutions over traditional approaches across a range of process, AR/VR, robotic and asset management applications.

Ford, in the UK, working with Vodafone have installed a 5G private network at its electric battery workshop in Essex.

The connectivity is linking the centre with a site in Cambridge, allowing the two to work together on welding electric batteries - which requires 1,000 welds and generates half a million pieces of data every minute, so is not supported by existing factory systems.