A 5G-ready, that is an LTE, mobile private network, is to be installed at the plant in Easington in the northeast of England (pictured) – an industry first according to the partners.
Centrica Storage Limited’s (CSL) private network will help the firm digitalise much of its critical maintenance and engineering operations. This will allow the company to assess the risk and urgency of repairs in real time, streamline activities, reduce cost and increase environmental and workers’ safety by creating a digital ecosystem.
Vodafone will build the network using Ericsson’s equipment, to support the various use cases needed by the digital maintenance ecosystem. This means employees will be connected to digital applications across the site, which is intended to increase productivity as well as reduce cost and improve workers’ safety as gas emissions can will be rapidly identified and managed.
The network will also allow CSL to have real-time visibility of work conducted at the plant, providing immediate insight into the condition and status of the various elements of the facility around the clock.
Paul Stevens, Information System and Technology Director at Centrica Storage said, “The mobile private network we are building at our Easington terminal will help us address 1970s problems with a 21st century solution, taking our business to the future from the moment it’s live.”
Greg McKenna, CEO of CSL commented, “The mobile private network will provide Centrica with a conduit through which we can connect a myriad of internet-enabled devices which now range from handheld personal devices to augmented reality headsets.
“This will improve safety, verification, asset performance and remote monitoring which ultimately leads to a safer, more reliable and cost efficient plant.”