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How smart would you like your factory to be?

Nokia truly believes in the power of digital transformation to make factories, supply chains and logistics dramatically more responsive, productive and efficient. Our Nokia Enterprise group is dedicated to providing businesses with technologies such as 5G, private wireless LTE, IIoT applications cloud and intelligent software to enable digital manufacturing with more nimble, transparent and secure operations.

Digitalization allows manufacturing to make, move and run more leanly and agilely than ever before. Boundless wireless connectivity and the rich intelligence from the unrestricted flow of data has led to a new "consciousness" within factories, supply chains and logistics. This improved awareness has created greater control and oversight of the goods enterprises produce.

Enable ultra-flexible layouts 

Factory assets are increasingly communicating through wireless connectivity and IoT sensors to intelligently and instantly relay instructions and other data. No longer restricted by wired connections, robots can quickly move about and self-configure themselves to build an assembly line in minutes to produce products. Fitted with force and tactile sensors, the robots work safely alongside people - and even collaborate with them. Together they can unlock new outcomes including new business models in the supply chain or ultra-flexible layouts of the shopfloor to meet production capabilities for the ‘lot size of one’. Let’s face it – consolidations for productivity in manufacturing and enhanced product diversification to mass customization are contrary targets and digital automation is needed to solve this puzzle.

Agility for reconfigurations, real-time decision making and a new social infrastructure for workers are crucial. eg. individual and positioned target settings, video documentation, AR/VR guidance for the flexible workforce require mobility and capacity to process digital information. Better agile processes and novel services enter the shopfloor for improved productivity and more sustainable production – saving resources and energy for a reduced global footprint.

Benefits of digital automated factories enabled by wireless cellular technology 4G / 5G
Benefits of digital automated factories enabled by wireless cellular technology 4G / 5G

This is why Nokia is engaging with companies like Bosch, who are leading the Industry 4.0 revolution in the fields of factory automation, machinery and applications. And like the FAW Group, our most recent partner to use 5G to accelerate digital transformation of the Chinese automotive sector. Digitalization requirements are growing in step with the volume of manufacturing processes. There’s a clear need for intelligent platforms like Nokia Digital Automation Cloud, to enable the seamless connectivity and the smart applications that will make sense of the resulting IIoT data.

From testbed to use case

Nokia DAC customers in the manufacturing segment, which include Nokia’s own factory in Oulu, have employed our automation platform across a wide variety of use cases including:

  • Mobile AR/VR quality check-ups
  • Mobile work order management
  • AGV/AIV mounted inspection robots
  • AGVs and remotely Controlled Vehicles
  • Mobile tablets for maintenance
  • Intelligent tools (such as the LTE enabled Bosch Rexroth tightener)
  • Video applications
  • Improving productivity and safety of factories with high accuracy positioning of goods and personnel

Intelligent tools for smart production


In this case example with Bosch Rexroth, the challenge is to digitalize certain processes, improve tool tracking and supplement the existing Wi-Fi coverage to ensure the required robust industrial connectivity needs are met. Nokia Digital Automation Cloud private wireless network is employed to facilitate automation of certain worker routines using the Bosch Rexroth Tightener, ultimately improving productivity through intelligent process control as well as evaluation of tightening process measurements and documentation. With the connectivity in place, various applications can also be added to further boost productivity, such as automating the ad-hoc, paperless end-to-end quality management process – in other words, Zero-Fault production capability made easy.

Nokia Digital Automation Cloud and cellular connectivity allows enterprises to be 5G ready now. Notably, 3GPP and The 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation (5G-ACIA), of which we are a contributing member,  have described the potential of this technology for industry in this independent whitepaper: 5G for Connected Industries and Automation.


Massive machine type of communication such as sensors, tools and tons of other user equipment are already connected in factories, mainly based on Ethernet or IEEE Wi-Fi standards such as Wi-Fi on a typically un-hardened infrastructure. Enhanced mobile broadband applications however, consume significantly more bandwidth but enable a myriad of compelling use cases to accelerate digitalization. Personal digital assistants such as work order and handheld quality inspection systems require fast video up- and download. Augmented reality and remote maintenance cases are entering the game. These applications are mobile by nature and not wired, posing a huge challenge in today’s factories and the driver for implementation of cellular 4G, 4.8G, 4.9G and 5G technology.

From retrofit to smart logistics

Last but not least, latency and jitter matter for more advanced mobile and retrofit use cases. Operating automated guided vehicles (AGVs) in fleets and at higher speeds requires low latency e.g. to transmit stop and go signals over the network, where the AGV cannot utilize its own autonomy (e.g. LIDAR) to prevent collision and organize safe and faster crossings, despite blind spots.

The combination of these three aspects of technology creates disruptive applications. Tactile (latency) robotic arms mounted on AGVs (coverage) with sensors such as high definition cameras including thermal imaging and ultrasonic audio streams can execute inspection tasks within minutes instead of days. The value to manufacturers is echoing loud and clear worldwide.

Industrially robust wireless network performance is critical for all manufacturing applications. This is why Nokia Digital Automation Cloud provides tested and optimized network configuration for the selected applications and also offers tailored applications such as high-accuracy object positioning, Push-to-talk and connected video analytics, which are often required in advanced industrial IoT solutions.

In the case of energy company, Sempra Renewables, we provided private wireless network coverage across a remote, 42 sq. mi. area, to reliably connect wind turbine sensors without the need to lay expensive fiber. With an advanced analytics solution attracted, real-time data streams could then be analysed. and active monitoring of the wind turbine pitch mechanisms and assembly lead to savings of up to 90% of turbine pitch assembly repair.

How it works

Nokia Digital Automation Cloud is an easy plug & play digitalization platform based on LTE architecture with smooth evolution to 5G support. 5G non-standalone architecture is already supported with Evolved Packet Core (EPC) functions. 5G network functions will by supported for a standalone 5G network and Wi-Fi access can be included in the solution.

Nokia DAC evolution to 5G
Nokia DAC evolution to 5G

Powered by HPE Edgeline Converged Edge Systems, this Edge computing cluster (i.e. the central control element of the private network) can be located at the factory premises, ready to withstand harsh environments in a rugged compute form factor. The Edge clusters are able to run enterprise applications unmodified at the edge, converge the Operations Technologies into a single and integrated OT-IT system, and improve security and efficiency by keeping the data and the data-processing apps at the edge.

The Edge cluster includes HTTPs based control interface to the Nokia DAC regional cloud and enables automatic deployment of software running in the DA Edge and DA access points, as well as management of their configuration parameters. Regardless of your enterprise size and legacy infrastructure, we have a smart and simple solution ready for you.

Stay tuned for our next blog: Retrofit made easy - how to profit from IIoT data.

For more Industry 4.0 use cases, visit our Nokia Digial Automation Cloud website.

Welcome to HPE Discover 2019 in Las Vegas

Register here for the HPE Discover 2019 event in Las Vegas 18-20 June 2019 where you can sign up to hear how HPE Edgeline and Nokia are partnering to enable Digital Automation and Industrial IoT.

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks or @nokia using #enterprise #PrivateLTE, #Industry 40, #Digitalization #Automation #Manufacturing #Connectivity  #IoT

Fabian S. Schlage

About Fabian S. Schlage

Fabian is a self-professed innovation addict and head of Ecosystem Engagement at Nokia Enterprise Digital Automation, driving connected innovation in the manufacturing segment. Fabian is also an active of Member of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), the 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation (5G-ACIA) and Multefire Industry working group.  Connect with Fabian on  LinkedIn or via his YouTube- Innovation Blog Channel

Tweet me at @FabsTV

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