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Embrace Industry 4.0 without disrupting your critical operations

Two engineers in overalls and hard hats look at tablet next to robotic arm

If you have ever renovated your home, you know that the process can become more complex and painful than that involved in building a new house, especially if you want to keep living in it as you renovate. The transformation required for Industry 4.0 presents a similar challenge: How do you avoid disrupting your manufacturing site, transport hub or deep pit mine operations while you adopt the new digital applications you need to reach your safety, productivity and sustainability targets? Temporarily moving out might be possible during a home renovation, but it is not an option at many industrial sites because it will cost millions of euros.

Staying open for business while adopting new industrial applications

Taking on digital transformation while staying open for business can make progress slow and business cases hard to define and digest. Today 70 percent of industrial assets are not connected. So, your first task is to figure out how to connect a non-compatible array of systems and protocols that includes assets such as machines, cranes and mining equipment that may have been built years ago.

All your industrial assets now need to collect and analyze data and communicate with other parts of the production process so you can get a 360-degree, data-driven view of your operations. This will give you the basis for creating a digital twin, which plays a central role in managing a smart factory or port. IT and operational technology (OT) are often worlds apart in their approach and your workers might need new skills. Security is another top concern as you move into this digital industrial era.

You might wonder how your peers in the industry are moving ahead with the adoption of remote-control robots, automated guided vehicles (AGV), push-to-video applications and drones to support a more flexible workforce. To make these applications work flawlessly, the right connectivity choices must be made.

Wi-Fi 6 or 7 might be good for some applications. But they aren’t the best choice in all cases, especially for new applications that require coverage for vast outdoor and indoor areas or super-low latency. For example, to add a wireless autonomous robot to your production line, you need ultra-low latency and high reliability that will enable it to stop instantly when required. You also need an industrial edge that ensures that your data is captured, controlled, and managed on-site, and a digital platform that provides applications powered by Wi-Fi and mission-critical connectivity such as a private wireless network based on 4.9G/LTE or 5G technology.

You might also wonder how to connect the subcontractors that are supporting your transformation. They need to be able to communicate often with push-to-video services so they can follow instructions and make the transformation process smoother and faster. Their devices require ATEX certification and should be provided as a service, so you can be flexible and avoid buying ruggedized industrial devices that end up on a shelf when the transformation is done, or the workforce fluctuates.

Architectural blueprints that simplify digital transformation

One of the key secrets to success with any transformation project is to work with a partner that has a clear picture of the desired result. You would use an architect for a complex home transformation, so why not do the same for your new digital industrial site?

Nokia has developed vertical-specific blueprints that guide industrial enterprises such as process manufacturers, ports, airports, power utilities and deep or open pit mine operators on the best path to digital transformation. We’ve built these blueprints using deep vertical expertise based on best practices. They provide an overview of the applications, edge computing capabilities, devices and wireless connectivity options you need to transform your site while you stay open for business and keep your mission-critical processes running.

Our blueprints also provide a clear view of the return on investment for digital transformation. This makes it easier for you to move forward and get the right approvals in place.

To enable these blueprints, we bring industries one digital platform that includes industrial-grade private wireless 4.9G/5G connectivity, Wi-Fi, the industrial edge, and application and device ecosystems as a service. This platform meets and addresses your business needs for Industry 4.0 today and tomorrow.

What’s more, our vertical teams and integration and operations partners can help you realize this transformation process step by step, so you can focus on staying open for business while the work continues AND stay ahead of the Industry 4.0 game. 

Christopher  Kent

About Christopher Kent

Christopher is Global Vice President of Nokia’s Enterprise Private Wireless Sales organization, focusing on enterprise customers’ digital transformation. He is passionate about helping industries to embrace and adopt the IT and OT technology solutions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) to achieve transformational business outcomes. He has deep understanding of mission critical private wireless networks (4G/LTE, 5G) and solutions like edge cloud, devices and applications.

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