The UK-based Mettis Aerospace factory and next-generation Wi-Fi services development body Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has completed phase one of the Wi-Fi 6 trial.

The trial was the first of its kind in the world and demonstrated the use of Wi-Fi 6 for applications such as 4K video streaming, large scale file transfers, messaging and voice/video communications in a factory environment.

In a factory set-up, improving communications becomes a challenge due to interference and noise.

The tests saw speeds of 700Mbps using 80MHz channels.

These results proved that Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure can deliver high-quality services to monitor and increase machinery performance, and lower downtime.

Mettis Aerospace is a supplier to companies such as Rolls-Royce, Boeing and Airbus. It is established on commercial aerospace programmes such as airframe components and aero-engine components.

WBA CEO Tiago Rodrigues said: “The Mettis facility is an especially challenging environment for wireless communications with furnaces, presses and heat, a lot of moving heavy machinery and the presence of dust and in-air particulates.

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“Nevertheless, the field tests in this highly charged atmosphere have proven that Wi-Fi 6 technology works well and can play a vital role within the industrial enterprise and IoT ecosystem.

“If Wi-Fi 6 can deliver highly reliable, high-quality and high-bandwidth communications in this type of factory environment, then it can deliver it almost anywhere.”

The trial was conducted in collaboration with WBA member companies, namely Broadcom, Cisco, iBwave and Intel, as well as Concurrent Engineering and Keysight.

The next trial will focus on further tests such as mixed reality applications and IoT sensing of key assets.