OMRON, Nokia and NTT DOCOMO bring 5G to the factory floor in Industry 4.0 trial

The trial follows increasing demand for wireless communications at manufacturing sites.
Operator motion analysis in action
Operator motion analysis in action

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The trio of OMRON, Nokia and NTT DOCOMO have agreed to conduct join field trails using 5G at their plants and other production sites. As part of the trial, Nokia will provide the enabling 5G technology and OMRON, the factory automation equipment. NTT DOCOMO will be responsible for running the 5G trial.

During it, the companies will aim to establish the feasibility of the concept of a layout-free production like with Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs). Manufacturing sites are under increasing pressure to rearrange production lines at short notice because product cycles are becoming shorter, responding to fast-changing consumer demands.

By taking advantage of 5G's high speed, low latency and large capacity, the trial will see AMRs automatically conveying components to the exact sport where they are required based on communication with production line equipment. The trial will also take advantage of 5G for real-time coaching using AI/IoT.

Machine operators will be monitored using cameras with an AI-based system to provide feedback on their performance. Subsequently, this will help improve the training of technicians by detecting and analysing the differences between more skilled and less skilled personnel.

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