Mettis Aerospace to Serve as Testbed for World’s First Wi-Fi 6-Enabled Smart Factory Technologies

The Wi-Fi 6 Industrial Enterprise and Internet of Things trial is designed to demonstrate Industry 4.0 transformation in a manufacturing environment struggling with connectivity issues.

Mettis Aerospace CTO, David Green discusses Industrial IoT applications during site visit (Image courtesy: Mettis Aerospace Limited)

As part of its ongoing Wi-Fi 6 program , the Wireless Broadband Alliance  (WBA) – an industry association focused on next generation Wi-Fi services and interoperability – is starting the world’s first Wi-Fi 6 Industrial Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) trial at Mettis Aerospace Limited ’s (Mettis Aerospace’s) 27-acre West Midlands facility. Mettis Aerospace, an aerospace original equipment manufacturer (OEM) based in Redditch, UK, produces precision-forged, machined, and subassemblies for companies like Airbus SE , The Boeing Company , and Rolls-Royce Holdings plc .

Due to the size of its West Midlands facility, the company faces connectivity issues like signal disrupting industrial radio interference. As the first in a series of global WBA trials, Mettis Aerospace will test digital manufacturing technologies like multi-stream live video monitoring, real-time equipment energy monitoring, ultra-reliable low-latency communications with sensors on critical systems, and augmented reality for trouble shooting on a new Wi-Fi 6 network.

“We’re delighted to be the first aerospace company to trial Wi-Fi 6. By working with the WBA, we’re able to gain access to dozens of leading vendors and operators in the Wi-Fi arena,” says Dave Green, head of information technology at Mettis Aerospace. “Industrial manufacturers work in incredibly complex environments, which can make cellular technologies challenging to deploy and operate effectively. We believe that Wi-Fi 6 has a significant role to play within the 5G ecosystem, enabling a range of, cost-effective, industrial applications.”

William Kucinski  is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.

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