Nokia and Volkswagen spotlight smart factory pilot project

Nokia has deployed a private 5G standalone wireless network for Volkswagen at the car maker’s main plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. The private campus network uses the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) solution to provide reliable, secure, real-time connectivity and enable Volkswagen to trial new smart factory use cases.

The pilot project will enable Volkswagen to test whether the industrial-grade private 5G wireless network meets the demanding requirements of vehicle production with the goal to increase efficiency and flexibility in series production of the future.

The installed network covers the production development centre and pilot hall at the Wolfsburg plant, with Nokia DAC offering reliable high-bandwidth and low-latency connectivity for sensors, machines, vehicles and other equipment.

Dr.-Ing. Klaus-Dieter Tuchs, network planning at Volkswagen, said, “Predictable wireless performance and the real-time capabilities of 5G have great potential for smart factories in the not-so-distant future. With this pilot deployment, we are exploring the possibilities 5G has to offer and are building our expertise in operating and using 5G technology in an industrial context.”

Chris Johnson, head of global enterprise business for Nokia, added, “By deploying private wireless to explore and develop its potential in manufacturing, Volkswagen [will be able to] leverage[e] digitalisation to enhance efficiency and productivity. We are delighted to support this effort with the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud and our extensive experience in private wireless networks.”

The companies are testing initial use cases including: wireless upload of data to manufactured vehicles and intelligent networking of robots and wireless assembly tools. All data remains on the campus, processed at the network edge in real time, with the network operating in a dedicated 3.7-3.8 GHz band for local private wireless networks. Volkswagen previously applied for and was allocated this spectrum by the Federal Network Agency.