The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has confirmed the successful completion of its phase one trial of Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure and services at the Mettis Aerospace factory in the UK.
The trial was the first of its kind in the world and an iWmportant part of the WBA’s Wi-Fi 6 test and development program.
Tests included applications of 4K video streaming, large scale file transfers, messaging and voice/video communications as well as the first stage of IoT sensor and mixed reality testing. Previous implementation tests with Wi-Fi failed to work in Mettis’ challenging factory environment.
During the trial, speeds of 700 Mbps using 80 MHz channels were achieved and low latency applications, like video calling and video streaming, performed well with results below 6ms. These results proved that Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure can operate well in the presence of interference and noise in a complex and challenging factory environment as well as deliver high quality services for monitoring and maximizing machinery performance, minimizing downtime, and improving communications on the factory floor.
“The completion of this initial phase marks a significant milestone for the adoption of Wi-Fi 6,” said WBA CEO, Tiago Rodrigues.
“The Mettis facility is an especially challenging environment for wireless communications with furnaces, presses and heat, a lot of moving heavy machinery and the presence of dust and in-air particulates. Nevertheless, the field tests in this highly charged atmosphere have proven that Wi-Fi 6 technology works well and can play a vital role within the industrial enterprise and IoT ecosystem. If Wi-Fi 6 can deliver highly reliable, high quality and high bandwidth communications in this type of factory environment, then it can deliver it almost anywhere,” he added.
“The Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure installed as part of the trials has exceeded our expectations in terms of performance, reliable connectivity and consistent coverage across the target area,” said Dave Green, Head of IT, Mettis Aerospace. “We are seeing immediate benefits in terms of the data we’re now able to collect and use. Moving forward, we will be able to vastly increase the data we collect from devices across our business, enhancing our manufacturing processes, reducing variability and increasing productivity.”
The trial took place at the 27-acre Mettis Aerospace facility in the West Midlands in collaboration with WBA member companies including Broadcom, Cisco, iBwave and Intel as well as Concurrent Engineering and Keysight. Mettis Aerospace supplies companies such as Airbus, Boeing and Rolls-Royce.
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