Nokia, Edzcom raise Konecranes R&D with 5G SA private wireless

Network technology provider to fuel lifting equipment firm’s 5G research and digitised solution development for factories and ports, building on existing LTE private wireless investment

Network technology providers Nokia and Edzcom are to jointly deliver a 5G standalone (SA) private wireless network for lifting businesses firm Konecranes Group at its Hyvinkää smart factory in Finland.

Konecranes provides productivity-enhancing lifting solutions as well as services for lifting equipment of all makes, serving a range of customers including manufacturing and process industries, shipyards, ports and terminals. Its business is divided into three business areas – service, industrial equipment and port solutions – each contributing approximately one-third of sales to the group sales.

Konecranes Service offers specialised maintenance services and spare parts for all types and makes of industrial cranes and hoists. Konecranes Industrial Equipment provides a range of industrial cranes, from components and light duty applications to demanding process use and solutions while Konecranes Port Solutions provides equipment, software and service for the container handling industry.

Claiming to be the European market leader in edge connectivity solutions, Edzcom’s expertise is in designing, building and operating private wireless network solutions in different locations, and in the project with Konecranes is supporting the firm on its journey deploying 5G.

Edzcom has said it understands the requirements for private networks involved when the aim is to smoothly accelerate automation even further and that the reliability of the wireless network is business-critical. Effective connections are needed when creating a platform for an ecosystem of connected devices and innovating for future.

In the deployment, Edzcom will install a private wireless and application platform based on the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC), which in September 2020 was enhanced to further ease and accelerate customers’ transformation path towards Industry 4.0.

The new 5G network will enable Konecranes to research and develop digitised factory and port solutions that take advantage of 5G’s high bandwidth and low latency for increased productivity, improved efficiency, and enhanced safety.

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The 5G network will support trials across Konecranes’ Hyvinkää operations, incorporating its smart factory, research and development facilities, and test cranes. One use case example is the deployment of high-resolution wireless cameras to improve load handling safety, site security and operational integrity.

“Factories and ports are increasingly becoming digitalised and automated, and machine-to-machine communication is on the rise, creating an ecosystem of connected devices,” said Juha Pankakoski, executive vice-president for technologies at Konecranes.

“Konecranes has been an industry leader in this development and partnering with Nokia and Edzcom helps us extend that digitalisation and technology leadership. 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.”

“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,” said Stephan Litjens, vice-president enterprise solutions, Nokia Cloud and Network Services.

“By now, deploying 5G to explore and develop its potential in factories and ports, Konecranes underscores its pioneering position in leveraging digitalisation to enhance productivity and safety.”

Edzcom managing director 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 digitalisation strategies. We are excited to see how Konecranes will continue to innovate and employ edge connectivity to boost operational efficiency and new solution development.”

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