Industrial manufacturing meets wireless communications
I just returned from Hannover, Germany, which was again (for the 70th year) hosting the annual Hannover Messe on industrial manufacturing. This trade show has become the leading global event for all things manufacturing with over 6,500 exhibitors and this year attracting some 225,000 visitors. All are compelled to learn about the latest technologies and innovations for manufacturing, automation, IT and digital factories and how they can transform their businesses.
This Hannover Messe centered around digitalization, digital twins, Internet of Things, predictive maintenance and smart applications, data analytics, IoT platforms, augmented and virtual realities – and of course robots. Indeed, there were robots of all sizes from the car wielding robot to smaller cobots (so called collaborative robots) collaborating smoothly and safely with human operators and even with drones. And yes, there were also some fun robotic use cases from the ping-pong playing robot that visitors could challenge to the cotton candy making robot for a sweet afternoon treat!
The promise of Industry 4.0
The main message throughout the exhibition halls was that Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution – is a reality today and no longer just a future vision, with the promise of exciting new opportunities for product and application developers, solution providers and manufacturers. This revolution is making the existing processes more efficient, more reliable and safer through data driven analytics, optimizations and decision-making. It improves time-to-market and helps create additional new digital services and business models with significant added value for companies and economies as a whole.
Industry 4.0 enables a much tighter interaction of domains and in general between companies across the full product lifecycle from design and manufacturing to distribution, services and disposal. The connected workers, product designers and end users will interact with the physical equipment and products as well as with digital twins of the same equipment and with the digital data and intelligence about the past, current and future predicted behavior of the products. They will draw information from sophisticated analytics tools to improve the overall efficiency of the value chain and create new value-added services through automation, process simplification and knowledge sharing. The potential economic impact is expected to go beyond EUR 1 trillion by 2025 for factory settings (according to a study from the McKinsey Global Institute).
What is Nokia doing for Industry 4.0?
Many innovative technologies already exist today or are being developed in areas such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), augmented, collaborative and swarm robots, autonomous vehicles, augmented, virtual and mixed realities, artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive maintenance, smart products and connected workers. Applications are being developed, tested, and deployed at an ever-increasing pace to support new use cases and services. All these innovations require a multi-disciplinary approach with a deep industrial understanding. More importantly to achieve the highest degree of information sharing and knowledge extraction, all devices, machines, sensors and people need to be connected through a real-time, reliable, secure, high-performance and programmable platform. Nokia is ideally placed to deliver this fabric of advanced connectivity and cloud infrastructure – which we call the digital nervous system – for the connected industries and digital automation of the future.
Creating the technology to connect the world
These are the key building blocks to serve the needs of the 4th industrial revolution:
- Industry-leading 4G and 5G wireless communications in licensed and unlicensed spectrum (MulteFire and CBRS)
- On-premise 4G and 5G small cells and access points
- Private cellular networks with integrated edge cloud and local gateways
- IoT PaaS (platform as a service) with IoT device and connectivity management solutions and analytics applications
- Integrated high accuracy indoor positioning
- SIM-less IoT authentication methods and embedded security
- Interfaces/APIs to local applications
- E2E industrial slice and quality of service over public infrastructure
- Real-time remote control and augmented reality
- Ecosystem trials with Nokia Innovation Platform
Nokia at Hannover Messe 2017
This was the first time Nokia had a booth at the Hannover Messe to showcase our vision - and the realization of that vision - for connected industries and the impact was exceptional. Our robot communicator even proved to be one of the key attractions.
Nokia highlights @Hannover Messe 2017
- Live private LTE network deployed at the booth in a very small form factor and fully self-contained
- Remote controlled robot communicator demonstrated the superior performance and benefits of LTE compared to Wi-Fi for voice and two-way video communication with applications to connected workers, remote supervisor or safety applications
- Accurate location tracking and remote control / driving capabilities of the robot in and around the booth via the private LTE network
- Joint presentation with Qualcomm on the benefits, use cases and solution architectures for private networks utilizing the MulteFire and CBRS spectrum
- End-to-end network slicing demonstration for industrial use cases and applications to prioritize an industrial control process over video traffic and general background traffic and ensure reliable application level performance
- Intelligent asset tracking and supply chain visibility with Tive to monitor the location and status along the logistics chain from supplier to manufacturing
- Live 360 video feed from a Nokia factory that also highlighted how we are deploying these technologies in our own production environments and as a live playground for new innovative solutions.
If we missed you at Hannover, let’s talk here. Let’s bring innovative solutions to market and drive this new industrial revolution together. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us and engage on technology discussions, pilot opportunities and go-to-market strategies.
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