Hyperbat, one of the UK’s largest independent vehicle battery manufacturers, is using 5G technology to speed up the manufacturing process for hybrid and electric vehicle production, by creating ‘digital twins’, which can be manipulated and viewed using VR headsets.
The Coventry-based company has partnered with BT, Ericsson and NVIDIA, to enable remote teams to connect, collaborate, and interact using a virtual 3D engineering model.
‘‘Hyperbat is honoured to be working with such an incredible consortium of partners to pioneer a solution that lays the foundations for smart factory architecture and efficient, flexible and collaborative manufacturing,” said Hosein Torabmostaedi, an innovation manager at Hyperbat. “The solution is mainly targeted at collaborative mobile workforce with the use of 5G native headsets and seamless integration of design and manufacturing systems with the digital twin technologies. Hyperbat also hopes to extend the solution to the use of 5G connectivity for machines to enable configurable and flexible production lines. The solutions will be demonstrated and trialled at Hyperbat’s facility in Coventry, United Kingdom.”
World-first 5G use case for Industry 4.0
Joining the ranks of innovative 5G use cases for Industry 4.0, the virtual 3D engineering model will reduce product cycle time between design, engineering, and manufacturing teams based in Coventry and Oxfordshire.
“This world-first 5G digital twin solution is a powerful reminder that 5G connectivity and Edge Compute is very much here now, delivering real business benefits for our customers,” said Jeremy Spencer, 5G innovation senior manager at BT’s Enterprise Unit. “5G connectivity, when combined with the latest emerging tech can produce incredible efficiency gains which will be so important in boosting the UK manufacturing sector as it recovers from COVID. It will also bring a welcome boost to many other industries where collaboration is required.”
The digital twin project will be a world-first, untethered 5G experience that will allow design and engineering teams to walk around, and interact with, a 3D life-size model in real time. Hyperbat colleagues in different locations will be able to work with a 1:1 product scale hologram of the design in-situ on the factory floor, review designs in real time, and manage workflows much more effectively.
“Bringing remote teams together in VR to collaborate and refine manufacturing processes will produce great efficiencies and innovations,” said David Weinstein, director of virtual reality and augmented reality at NVIDIA. “This 5G VR digital-twin solution -- powered with NVIDIA RTX technology, CloudXR, and NVIDIA RTX Virtual Workstation software -- will enable real-time immersion for teams both on the factory floor and remotely.”
The 5G VR digital twin solution will be deployed by BT and Ericsson on a 5G mobile private network, using the world’s first 5G-enabled VR headset powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Platform, with the VR headset running on the Masters of Pie Radical platform, enabling Hyperbat to use cloud-based virtual reality within computer-aided design (CAD) software.