While stationary robots are well-established and important parts of many factories and production plants, mobile platforms and manipulators will become an integral part of your factory of the future. Bruno Adam, our Mobile Business Director Europe, answers how the manufacturing process is evolving and why factories, driven by greater product customisation, will move from traditional
Nokia factory in Oulu, Finland manufactures and designs the production processes for a variety of telecommunication products like base stations that, once optimized, can be transferred and scaled to other production facilities worldwide. With new products flowing in monthly to be tested, including future 5G products, changes to the factory floor layout are constant and flexibility is paramount.
Traditionally, Oulu Factory has managed machine and device telecommunications through Ethernet cables – and as the factory floor changes, so do the cable requirements, adding significant costs in rewiring work. Increasing the level of automation was thus a key objective – not only in production but also in the material feed, which had been done manually until now.
One of the enablers for automating the material flow is the Omron LD Autonomous Intelligent Vehicle (AIV), which delivers material from the storage to the production line, without any human interference. For the Oulu factory, the Omron AIV settings were adjusted for LTE connectivity. The AIV is no longer restricted to its fixed Wi-Fi network area but can now be utilized anywhere on the factory floor, without requiring separate network reconfiguration. As network capacity has increased, Oulu Factory is also considering a fleet of connected AIVs to perform various tasks on the shop floor.
We’re excited by the ease with which Nokia was able to connect LD mobile robots to the Oulu Factory’s private LTE network. These flexible LD mobile robotics platforms enable end customers like Nokia to implement new supporting technologies for building complex systems, even in challenging environments,” says Samuli Bergström, Regional Marketing Manager, Nordics for Omron Electronics Finland. Today, operational efficiency is very high allowing Oulu Factory to further leverage the reliable, high capacity connectivity enabled by Nokia Digital Automation Cloud and gain measurable benefits from IoT deployments instantly.