Volkswagen announces that Nokia will install a private 5G network at its main plant near Wolfsburg, Germany, to pave the way for the German carmaker to move towards Industry 4.0.
Nokia: Enabler of Industry 4.0
Finnish telecommunications company Nokia has become one of the market-dominating providers in the field of private wireless for industrial purposes. Almost 400 major companies have already signed up for its services. 75 of them use its 5G technology. Nokia has set itself the task of equipping larger companies, which are often regarded as sluggish, with digital solutions that will enable them to keep pace even with small, fast startups.
Volkswagen: Adapting to the new times
At present, all vehicle manufacturers are heavily involved in adapting their business models to the new zeitgeist. Legal regulations and social norms have significantly accelerated the phasing out of combustion engines. Now all parties involved are looking to convert their own production capacities to electromobility as quickly as possible. Volkswagen plans to completely phase out the traditional model by 2035 at the latest, with the option of mobile vehicle technology in most vehicles. This transformation is not entirely based on decisions made by the group itself. Rather, the pressure from lateral entrants such as Apple and Tesla in the competitive market is likely to be a decisive reason.
New technologies for potential expansion:
Nokia and Volkswagen expect the collaboration to identify and expand existing potential. As owners of large, already networked production facilities, automotive groups like VW hope to gain an industry advantage over competitors who have yet to build them. With the establishment of private wireless 5G networks and other modern technologies, the company expects to make significant progress in realizing Industry 4.0. In particular, it sees promising opportunities for increases in efficiency in the manufacturing sector.
Research network for the smart factory
An industrial 5G network is being installed at VW’s research site in Wolfsburg to implement these plans. The network was provided by the German Federal Network Agency and operates in the 3.7-3.8 GHz range. In combination with Nokia’s Digital Automation cloud, initial trials will load data in real time and wirelessly into vehicles on production lines. In addition, better wireless linking of the assembly area with robotics elements is planned. In the process, Volkswagen will always retain full control of all generated data in the secured environment.