Wireless carrier UScellular recently announced it will bring a high-performance private cellular network solution to expand the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s (UWM) Connected Systems Institute (CSI) manufacturing research facility to include private 5G technology. The 5G private wireless network will help CSI research facility connect their operations with 5G IoT sensors and controls.
Ericsson and Rockwell Automation are supporting the collaboration between UScellular and the UWM CSI lab. The collaboration will establish a 5G private cellular network so that students, faculty, and industry partners can securely work together to develop, test and think of new solutions for Industry 4.0 manufacturing facilities. These facilities could help to drive automation, intelligence, and control, as well as upskill and augment the Wisconsin workforce.
Additionally, this approach improves digital manufacturing leadership and accelerates the application development with advanced technologies. Initial use cases include connecting manufacturing facilities with sensors, Digital Twin, 5G ‘infrastructure as a service’ with security overlays, augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) and autonomous robotics.
“This is an incredible opportunity to bring our wireless expertise in private cellular networks to advance the vision in smart manufacturing developed by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Connected Systems Institute,” said Kim Kerr, senior vice president, enterprise sales and operations for UScellular. “This is an initial step toward maintaining Wisconsin’s leadership in manufacturing. We’re looking forward to seeing how our private cellular network can support additional growth and learning from the near real-time automation within the CSI lab.”
UScellular will also deliver private cellular network content to the Digital Manufacturing Leadership learning pathway course that CSI developed. The digital manufacturing curriculum comprises in-person training and classroom education around concepts of supply chain, industrial internet of things (IIoT), and smart manufacturing to support continuing education in the industry.
“The Connected Systems Institute is a powerful partnership linking industry and academia,” UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said. “CSI plays a critical role in Wisconsin and beyond to accelerate innovation, develop a highly skilled workforce and drive economic growth. UScellular’s technology and investment in CSI allows us to advance research and business use cases while helping our students develop skillsets needed for Industry 4.0. UScellular has proven to be a valuable partner and there’s much we can accomplish as we move forward together.”
The institute launched in November 2017 with a $1.7 million investment from Rockwell Automation to support talent development and research to solve real-world problems with industrial automation in commercial applications.
“The relationship will benefit the manufacturing industry in Wisconsin and across the country by creating an accelerator for small and medium manufacturers to adopt advanced technologies as well as upskill the workforce,” said Andrew Ellis, vice president global portfolio engineering at Rockwell Automation. “UScellular brings leading edge 5G cellular technology to a manufacturing environment. The learning that will be achieved through the partnership at CSI will be a tremendous benefit to expanding smart manufacturing with private 5G networks both in Wisconsin and across the U.S.”
Ericsson’s Private 5G brings a variety of innovative use cases for indoor and outdoor environments. Built with its 4G and 5G radio and dual mode core technology, Ericsson 5G can integrate with business operations, devices and applications to ensure productivity, cost and energy use efficiencies.
“At Ericsson, we’re excited to be part of the collaboration where UScellular and the University Wisconsin-Milwaukee Connected Systems Institute have worked to establish a strong 5G private cellular connection for students and professionals so they can continue innovating with cutting-edge technology,” David Green, vice president and key account manager, UScellular account for Ericsson North America, said. “5G brings incredible opportunity to equip the Wisconsin workforce to develop cutting edge technology and processes that will better the community and industry alike.”