Nokia and Bosch have collaborated to develop precision positioning technology for industrial automation using a private 5G network. The companies have implemented a proof of concept at a Bosch production facility in Germany, where testers used the 5G-based positioning system under realistic manufacturing conditions. In 90 percent of the factory area, this system is accurate within 50 cm, as reported by the companies involved.
“The proof-of-concept conducted jointly with Nokia underpins the leading role of Bosch in exploring new opportunities for our customers and developing the Factory of the Future,” says Andreas Mueller, chief expert and responsible for 6G activities at Bosch.
The precision positioning technology can identify the real-time location of industrial objects such as automated guided vehicles, mobile robots and mobile control panels in areas without satellite coverage.
According to the company, this solution leverages advanced Nokia Bell Labs algorithms to analyze time delays and angle-of-arrival information to determine edge device locations precisely. The claimed accuracy of this solution is much higher than that of existing cellular positioning technology.
Since 2017, Nokia and Bosch have collaborated to create industrial internet of things (IoT) and sensing solutions. They have also disclosed their intention to develop Industry 4.0 use cases utilizing 6G solutions.
More specifically, the research aims to facilitate 6G connectivity that can monitor the position of industrial objects irrespective of the network connection. This technology is expected to function like radar communication.
“In the next decade, 6G will be capable of sensing all objects in their coverage areas regardless of whether they contain active radios. We are creating networks that will endow humans with a digital 6th sense,” says Peter Vetter, the president of Bell Labs Core Research at Nokia.
Nokia is also teaming up with Dell and other technology providers to strengthen its Mission-Critical Industrial Edge (MXIE) platform that helps digitize industrial operations. Further, this system will launch a Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) model, permitting more organizations to leverage the power of OT data.
5G | Bosch | IIoT | Industry 4.0 | manufacturing | Nokia | private wireless