Ireland’s first indoor 5G in Ballyragget facility

21 July 2021
Business News

Glanbia Ireland has teamed up with Three Ireland and Ericsson in a new strategic partnership to further increase manufacturing efficiency at one of the company’s largest Irish plants by installing an indoor 5G network.

The new 5G network, inside the cheese plant at Glanbia Ireland’s facility in Ballyragget, County Kilkenny, is the first ever implementation in a live manufacturing environment in Ireland.

Three, Ireland’s Speedtest Award™ Winner for fastest 5G network by Ookla®*, is working with Ericsson and Glanbia on the rollout. It will demonstrate how 5G can be used in manufacturing environments, developing further use cases which in time can be applied across a range of sectors.

The 5G network solution will help with even faster and more accurate maintenance tasks on the plant floor and will assist in problem solving, providing for richer analysis of plant processes and reducing manual administration.

The new, indoor 5G network will also bring greater connectivity and data security, allowing Glanbia to trial AR and VR applications, and test how 5G can provide enhanced connectivity solutions for wider production facilities.

Brian Farrell, Engineering Manager at Glanbia Ireland, Ballyragget said: “We’re delighted to be involved in this ground breaking initiative with Three Ireland and Ericsson. It’s allowing us to bring to life some of the early learnings from our participation in an EU funded Horizon 2020 5G project. It emphasises the importance of networks as an enabler for Digital Industrial Transformation and it will accelerate the trial and adoption of some innovative Industry 4.0 use cases for us.”

 Karl Duffy, Head of Enterprise and Public Sector at Three Ireland said: “The bespoke opportunities and insights which 5G can provide to organisations and sectors is really exciting to us at Three Ireland, delivering a real step-change from 4G. We are delighted to partner with Glanbia Ireland and Ericsson on this initiative.

“This is the first indoor 5G network of its kind in Ireland and will deliver real efficiencies for Glanbia. The opportunity is there for companies of all sizes to create a pilot and scale over time. The companies that act now will achieve first mover advantage within their sector which can’t be underestimated.

John Griffin, CEO, Ericsson Ireland said: “5G offers the biggest ever potential platform for innovation and this exciting strategic partnership between Three Ireland, Ericsson and Glanbia will unlock the real value of Industry 4.0 for Ireland’s manufacturing sector. From enabling true digital transformation to helping boost productivity and creating operational efficiencies, 5G can provide the foundation for Ireland to revolutionise critical industries and lead the way for future innovation and economic growth.”

From a technical perspective the project will see 5G radio coverage provided by Ericsson’s Radio Dot System using Three Ireland’s 5G spectrum. This solution offers customers the indoor 5G coverage needed for bespoke use cases. They enable faster and easier installation in comparison to Wi-Fi, while offering greater performance, security and latency.

The coverage solution will be backhauled to Three Ireland’s state of the art telco cloud 5G core solution where we can separate the data needed for different customers’ IT systems, enabling the swift and secure delivery to the appropriate applications.