BAI Communications Australia (BAI) today announced its participation in a 5G funded trial with the Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC) and leading developer of augmented intelligence technologies, Bondi Labs.

BAI will design, supply and install a 5G communications network at two regional red meat processing facilities that will deliver the reliable high-speed connectivity required to enable smart verification technologies such as high-fidelity video streaming that can be used for remote auditing and compliance monitoring through computer vision technology.

BAI’s knowledge and experience of private 5G networks will be instrumental in Bondi Labs’ development and rigorous testing of two use cases: SmartInspect and SmartPack. Both innovations are designed to increase productivity and efficiency in the highly regulated red meat processing industry. Particularly relevant for the trial is 5G’s superior connectivity across regional and remote areas, which will allow thorough animal inspections by veterinarians, even when they’re offsite.

This is part of the Australian Government’s 5G Innovation Initiative which provides businesses with opportunities to trial and test 5G applications that demonstrate 5G’s capability and benefits across a range of industry sectors and locations.

Nick Gurney, Director of Telecommunications, BAI Communications Australia, said, “The trial is an opportunity to showcase ever-advancing Industry 4.0 digital technologies that leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities to better support the industry through advanced interconnectivity, automation and machine learning. BAI’s private 5G network solution is a viable, future-proof technology that will deliver the connectivity regional meat processors and other industries need to realise the significant benefits and savings enabled by 5G use cases and Bondi Labs’ innovations.

“Meat manufacturing is one of this country’s largest manufacturing and agricultural export industries, vital to the Australian economy. Leveraging the benefits of automated intelligence will bolster the industry’s already excellent international reputation and provide increased employment security for thousands of meat processing workers across regional towns and centres.”

SmartInspect allows meat processing employees, wearing live-video streaming glasses, to participate in remote audits and inspections, and undertake remote equipment maintenance and remote training, delivering significant savings in time and travel. SmartPack leverages the power of AI to identify different types of meat products and verify that carton contents exactly match carton labels. This technology reduces the potential for human error by being able to correctly identify a wide range of symbols, including languages that use special characters, such as Mandarin and Japanese.

Bondi Labs’ Research and Engagement Manager, Dr. Stuart Smith said, “The trial is important in assessing the use of 5G technology within a processing plant, as well as from a processing plant to an external party. Work being progressed by Bondi Labs to match carton labels with products in the box requires a stable and high-bandwidth internet connection which is enabled by BAI Communications’ solution.”

BAI’s private 5G network solution enables the trial to be quickly set up on site, with no disruption to processing operations. The two-month trial will demonstrate the benefits of inbuilding coverage using low power 5G access points and moving computing traffic and services closer to processing plant operators by using multi-access edge computing, all within a private 5G network. BAI has devised a rigorous test plan that, in addition to negating the connectivity problems of being in a regional location, also allows for the extreme temperatures and enormous number of mechanical obstructions typically part of a meat processing plant set up. Equally important is that BAI’s solution can meet the exceptionally high levels of security required at each plant and by the industry at large. It is hoped that a successful collaboration between BAI and Bondi Labs will be the start of big changes for Australia’s red meat processing industry.

Peter Lambourne, Chief Executive Officer, BAI Communications Australia said, “We are pleased to be involved in a trial that has the potential to reduce processors’ compliance costs, substantially improve operational efficiency, and place a leading Australian industry at the forefront of best practices worldwide”.