5G network for construction showcased at Futureworx
By Leila Steed06 April 2022
UK-based technology company Plinx has demonstrated its CONNECT5G network system to a live audience for the first time.
The live demonstration took place on the Plantforce stand at the first ever Futureworx 2022 exhibition showcase and conference, which took place in Peterborough this past week.
The 5G network system, which will be commercially available in 2023, is designed specifically to address the connectivity challenges of construction sites.
The equipment comprises a deployable 5G network mast that can be moved around a construction site according to a contractor’s needs.
During the demonstration the company connected to remotely controlled construction machines, which were located over 100km at a site in Stratford-Upon-Avon, with a live video and data feed.
Tommy Williams, founder and CEO of Plinx, said, “Showing the deployable 5G network system that we developed for construction sites was a great opportunity to show the art of the possible.”
Speaking of the event, Williams added, “Futureworx 2022 was a fantastic event to be a part of, it was an up-to-the-minute showcase of the construction industry’s intent to evolve and a glimpse of what sites in the not-too-distant future will be, we at Plinx are very excited to be a part of it.“
Plinx’s 5G technology, which is one of a number of innovations being explored by BAM Nuttall at its remote 5G Testbed site on Shetland, aims to improve site operations with fast and reliable connectivity, and to reduce costs by simplifying construction site communication networks.
“As contractors know well, construction sites are different to other environments, like manufacturing plants, in that they change constantly as works are started and then completed,” said Plinx.
“Network coverage needs to be adjusted as the project progresses. Power supplies may be difficult or expensive to provide.”
According to the company, which is headquartered south west of Birmingham in Malvern near Worcester, the current use of multiple networks onsite incurs “multiple costs” and creates “multiple challenges” for contractors.
“5G will be a real enabler for construction,” said Ian Billington, Associate Director Digital Consultancy of Costain and on secondment to National Highways, “and low cost, easily deployable solutions like Plinx will support the translation of smart innovation to challenging, live operational environments - a significant priority for National Highways.”