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Edzcom And Nokia Upgrade Konecranes ‘Smart Factory’ From Private LTE To 5G

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By James Blackman

Edzcom and Nokia are to build a private standalone (SA) 5G network for fellow Finnish firm Konecranes at the company’s factory in the municipality of Hyvinkää about 50 kilometres north of Helsinki.

Konecranes manufacturers and services cranes and lifting equipment. The company’s Hyvinkää’s facility is billed as a ‘smart factory’. The new private 5G network will be geared towards “advanced R&D work” for factories and ports, a statement from Nokia said. Edzcom and Nokia have supplied the site with a private LTE network previously.

Edzcom is using Nokia’s plug-and-play Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) platform for private LTE and 5G, as it has for the previous LTE installation. Nokia has a long-standing relationship with Edzom, with the pair collaborating also variously on a private LTE and 5G setups at Finnish ports in Kokkola, Oulu, and Hamina-Kotka, as well as with port machinery maker Kalmar, owned by port automation specialist Cargotec, and mining operator Sandvik.

The press statement from Nokia implies the Finnish vendor is supplying the radio and core functions, although it makes no mention of either. It is notable, possibly, that Edzom is also working with Italy-based private networking specialist Athonet on core network functions; the pair have combined at two port venues in Kotka, in Finland, which forms part of the larger Hamina-Kotka port, where Nokia is also engaged.

Nokia claims to have deployed mission-critical networks for 1,550customers in the transport, energy, enterprise, manufacturing, webscale,and public sector segments. It has deployed private LTE and 5G networks for 260-odd “large” enterprises, it said. The Hyvinkää upgrade for Konecranes covers the firm’s “smart factory, research and development facilities, and test cranes”, according to the statement. It said: “One use case example is the deployment of high-resolution wireless cameras to improve load handling safety, site security and operational integrity.”

Executive vice president for technologies at Konecranes, Juha Pankakoski said: “Factories and ports are increasingly becoming digitalized and automated, and machine-to-machine communication is on the rise, creating an ecosystem of connected devices. Konecranes has been an industry leader in this development, and partnering with Nokia and Edzcom helps us extend that digitalization and technology leadership.

He added: “Establishing a private 5G network in our Hyvinkää smart factory, with its low latency, high bandwidth and greater reliability, gives us the chance to accelerate automation even further, improving efficiency and opening up new use cases that can benefit both Konecranes and its customers.”

Managing director at Edzcom, Mikko Uusitalo said: “This project is a great showcase for smooth evolution to 5G private networking, with tight cooperation between Konecranes, Edzcom and Nokia. 5G will enable Konecranes to ensure greater capacity and high performance for its most ambitious digitalization strategies.”

Vice president of enterprise solutions in Nokia’s cloud and network services group, Stephan Litjens said: “Konecranes has been at the forefront of private wireless, introducing private LTE with Nokia and Edzcom four years ago to develop innovative solutions for its lifting businesses. By deploying 5G to develop its potential in factories and ports, Konecranes underscores its pioneering position in leveraging digitalization to enhance productivity and safety.”

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