SFL upgrades to 5G antennas with Made Smarter funding
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
L'Occitane staff with Motorola radios SFL will use the funding to expand its antennas division which has supplied the likes of L'Occitane and Cotswold Airport (credit: SFL Mobile Radio)

Radio communications specialist SFL Mobile Radio has invested in two new pieces of technology for its Sure Antennas division after receiving government funding.

Made Smarter is a communications sector funding programme which the government claims was set up to “help businesses boost productivity using digital tools”.

SFL said it will use funding from the programme to support the manufacturing of vehicle antennas for emergency service vehicles including upgrading its equipment for 5G frequencies.

Marketing manager Laurence Culloty said: “Working with Made Smarter we have been able to overcome two significant challenges.

“The first was to digitalise a manual process of applying labels to our antenna cables which was creating a bottleneck in an otherwise efficient production process. Our new labelling machine is forecast to save over 850 work-hours a year and allow our workforce to be utilised to carry out more skilled and valuable tasks.

“The second part of the project was to invest in a new Antenna Test Kit. This has enabled us to upgrade our testing capabilities for emerging frequencies such as 5G and target new export markets. We now have cloud-based data which can be shared and accessed remotely by our onsite engineers, improving our efficiency.”

In the past two years, SFL has signed deals with Gloucestershire-based airfield Cotswold Airport, international retailer L’Occitane, hotel chain IBIS and Brixton-based London Camera Company (LCC) to supply them with Motorola DP1400 two-way radios..

Donna EdwardsThe deal with SFL, marks the 200th investment by the Made Smarter programme in the North West of England and programme director Donna Edwards (pictured) said the funding is helping support “Industry 4.0 and the future of manufacturing”.

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