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How can private LTE networks help the industry?

LTE private networks are ideal for autonomous processes in industries, because they ensure secure and stable connectivity of all assets inside and outside the factory.
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Industries must adapt to changes in the market and respond to customer demands. This means transforming the way they do their work and optimizing their operations in real time.

LTE private networks are becoming a key ally, enabling industries to be hyper-connected and ensure real-time operations.

The case of Nokia's factory in Oulu (Finland)

industrial robot factory private LTE networks

This plant manufactures and designs various telecommunications products (such as base stations), which, once optimized, can be transferred and scaled to other production facilities around the world.

Changes in factory layout are constant and flexibility is paramount.

The problem

Traditionally, the plant has managed machine and device telecommunications through ethernet cables.

But as the production plant transforms, so do the cable requirements, adding significant costs in rewiring work. So automating more processes was a key objective, both in production and in feeding material to the machines.

To automate the transport of materials, an autonomous intelligent vehicle (AIV) was incorporated, which delivers materials from the warehouse to the production line without human interaction. Initially, the AIV was connected to a wifi network covering the storage and production areas.

However, as the AIV began to be used on a daily basis, it soon became apparent that the network coverage was insufficient for the route it traveled and that connectivity was lost during handovers between one access point and the next.

The AIV travels long distances in the factory, including passing between metal storage racks that compromise connectivity. When it loses connectivity, the AIV is stopped for safety by losing its relative position in the plant, which suspends material feeding into the production line and stops personnel activity.

The contribution of the private LTE network

A private wireless network (4.9G/LTE) was implemented, ensuring secure and stable connectivity of all assets inside and outside the factory, regardless of the area.

In this way, the AIV can be used outside of fixed wifi coverage: it can perform functions anywhere in the plant. It is no longer necessary to reconfigure the network when the equipment is moved to other areas and connection interruptions are eliminated.

In addition, as network capacity has increased, the plant is also considering a fleet of connected AIVs to perform various tasks.

You can read more about this case here.



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