Nokia, NTT Docomo and Omron to conduct 5G trials at plants

Nokia, NTT Docomo, and Omron Corporation have agreed to conduct joint field trials using 5G at their plants and other production sites.
Nokia 5G base station

Nokia will provide the enabling 5G technology and Omron the factory automation equipment while NTT Docomo will run the 5G trial.

The trial follows the increasing demand for wireless communications at manufacturing sites driven by the need for stable connectivity between IoT devices.

Nokia, Docomo and Omron will aim to establish the feasibility of the concept of a layout-free production line with Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs). The trial will see AMRs automatically conveying components to the exact spot where they are required based on communication with production line equipment.

The trial will leverage 5G connectivity for real-time coaching using AI/IoT. Machine operators will be monitored using cameras, with an AI-based system providing feedback on their performance based on an analysis of their movements. This will help improve the training of technicians by detecting and analyzing the differences of motion between more skilled and less skilled personnel.

John Harrington, president and CEO, Nokia Japan, said: “Manufacturers can use the stable, lower-latency and higher throughput wireless connections that come with 5G to embrace the Internet of Things.”

“We will be able to prove the feasibility of layout-free factory production lines with Autonomous Mobile Robots and person-machine collaboration,” Takehiro Nakamura, senior vice president of 5G Laboratories, NTT Docomo, said.