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AT&T joins US Digital Manufacturing Institute to ‘boost 5G innovation’

US national telecommunications carrier AT&T has become a member of MxD, a national association for manufacturers also known as the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute.

AT&T says it plans to install 5G and edge computing technologies at the MxD Institute in order to “develop and test applications with US manufacturing companies”.

MxD is like a support organisation for manufacturers and is affiliated to a government-backed public-private partnership program called Manufacturing USA.

MxD and AT&T say they will be working together to help accelerate the deployment of 5G to the US manufacturing industry.

AT&T is collaborating with MxD (Manufacturing times Digital) to install 5G technology and Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC) within MxD’s Chicago-based innovation center dedicated to advancing manufacturing innovation.

Chandra Brown, CEO of MxD, says: “AT&T will bring a new perspective to our mission of helping US manufacturers build every part better than the last.

“This is the first time we will bring a communications technology provider into our institute.

“By including AT&T’s 5G network into our manufacturing testbed, our partners will get firsthand access to 5G technology to co-create use cases and test advanced digital manufacturing applications for the future of the industry.”

MxD, formerly the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), is a non-profit that brings hundreds of partners together to advance the future of the US manufacturing industry.

Its state-of-the-art innovation center offers its partners an ideal environment to focus on developing, demonstrating, deploying, and commercializing innovations that address manufacturing’s most pressing problems.

Jeff Wilcox, vice president of enterprise transformation at Lockheed Martin and an MxD board member, says: “5G has real potential to be one of the platforms that truly unleashes the power of Industry 4.0.

“We see the lower latency and high bandwidth of 5G as being key to creating the communication and processing infrastructure at the heart of the smart factory ecosystem.”

AT&T will install 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) technology to cover parts of MxD’s 22,000 square foot factory floor.

AT&T also expects to bring industry related technologies, applications, and new collaborations to the research space to test manufacturing-related 5G use cases such as Industrial IoT, predictive maintenance, remote machine monitoring, autonomous robots, mixed reality training and spatial computing.

In addition, AT&T plans to test and showcase its MEC solution. Using MEC, MxD partners will be able to test manufacturing capabilities that use locally-processed data for faster processing and lower latency, while boosting security in cloud services.

Mo Katibeh, chief marketing officer of AT&T Business, says: “This is another example of our dedication to using 5G to transform businesses across the US.

“MxD is a premier leader in driving innovation for the manufacturing industry. By bringing 5G into their experiential testbed, we get to work with leading manufacturing companies to help drive new experiences and innovation not only today, but into the future.”

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