With its intelligent production and research centre in Augsburg, KUKA aims to introduce 5G autonomous private wireless networks, intelligent robots and automation technologies. The campus networking and application platform for Nokia’s Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) will start supporting product development immediately.

The most significant advance in industrial networks is 5G, which should be widely available in the next few years. At the moment, many places cannot access the technology, but that is changing rapidly.

Although connection to the 5G network is not yet universal, it is an excellent time to see how manufacturers with access to it are using it to optimise operations.

With the implementation of the Nokia 5G SA private wireless network at its Smart Production and Development Center in Augsburg, Germany, KUKA becomes the first automation equipment manufacturer to openly employ 5G. KUKA’s product development will be supported by Nokia’s Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) campus network and application platform.

To support digital transformation, Nokia’s DAC platform offers local edge computing, voice and video services, high-bandwidth, low-latency private networks, and mission-critical coverage.

Nokia’s DAC, according to Dirk Lewandowski, vice president for Central and Eastern Europe at Nokia Enterprise, is a small, easy-to-deploy platform that includes network and user equipment, a cloud-based operations monitoring system and industrial connectors that facilitate connectivity between industry-specific protocols and standards. It also has an innovative device management feature that enables wireless and rugged handheld devices to work together effortlessly.

In collaboration with KUKA and Nokia, a DAC management site was developed to offer users the ability to customise their network according to their unique needs. As a result, they will be able to make use of the new features in the upcoming 5G releases for their automation solutions. According to Michael Wagner, KUKA‘s R&D manager, Competence Center Control Technology, this collaboration will enable them to take full advantage of the benefits of fast, reliable and secure 5G communication.

To enable the integration of new usage models, such as new 5G-based interfaces and components for KUKA‘s technology portfolio, Nokia will also provide KUKA with network implementation services, operations support and training.

In order to provide manufacturing customers with the scalability, flexibility, low latency and mission-critical coverage needed to advance their digital transformation, Nokia has begun offering industrial-grade private wireless networks with increased frequency. According to the release, it has been collaborating with manufacturing companies for private wireless networks, including Toyota Production Engineering Company, Arçelik Turkey and WEG Brazil, in order to capitalise on the transformative benefits of Industry 4.0.

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