Nokia reaping benefits of its own smart factory technologies
Connected Nokia factory in Oulu sees 30% productivity gain
Nokia has been bullish on using LTE and 5G to power private networks for industrial verticals like mining, shipping and manufacturing. As the network infrastructure vendor works to sell its vertically-tailored solutions through carrier customers and directly to end users, Nokia is using its own technology at a manufacturing facility in Oulu, Finland.
The Oulu facility manufactures LTE and 5G base stations–up to 1,000 per day–and is connected using Nokia’s “4.9G” technology to run analytics on sensor data on edge computing infrastructure; this data is used to create a “real-time digital twin of operations data.” Nokia said it has tallied a 30% increase in productivity and a 50% decrease in “time of product delivery to market, and an annual cost savings of millions of euros.”
At the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, organization leaders and consultancy McKinsey named Nokia’s Oulu factory an “Advanced 4th Industrial Revolution Lighthouse, reflecting leadership and proven success in adopting and implementing 4IR technologies at scale.”
Nokia brings customers to the facility to showcase its technologies and drive sales. “We are paving the way for enterprise customers to realize the vision of Industry 4.0 and industrial automation by applying our technology to our manufacturing needs,” company Chief Strategy Officer and President of Nokia Enterprise Kathrin Buvac said in a statement. “We look forward to sharing this expertise with customers, helping them accelerate growth and unlock their full potential.”
According to Nokia, the so-called “factory of the future” is capable of “virtualization of new product information;” industrial robotics; “cloud-based digital data control; [and] no-touch internal logistics automation via connected mobile robots.”
The theme of the recent 2020 WEF is “stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world.” Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri characterized 5G as a major enabler of global sustainability issues. In a Jan. 17 WEF blog post, Suri said 5G can lift global economies by sparking a huge increase in productivity. He said the digitalization of verticals like healthcare, transportation and energy, for instance, can use 5G and adjacent technologies like artificial intelligence to increase productivity from by 30% to 35% in the 2028 timeframe with the U.S., China and India leading the way. As it relates to sustainability, increases in productivity will be used to offset the investments needed for green initiatives.