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Flex muscles up 5G SA private wireless, Industry 4.0 in advanced manufacturing

Leading comms tech provider teams with multinational electronics company to combine 5G SA private wireless and Industry 4.0 expertise for advanced manufacturing services in Brazil

Flex Brazil is set to deploy Nokia 5G standalone (SA) private wireless networks in its manufacturing facilities in Brazil.

With more than 100 sites worldwide, Flex is a multinational electronics company that provides technologies designed to play a key role in manufacturing and supply chain operations. A leader in Industry 4.0, it delivers to its various global customers using already-today technologies such as advanced simulation, automation and robotics, analytics, internet of things, and additive manufacturing (3D printing).

Flex’s goal is to explore 5G technology for wireless reconfigurable production systems that can adapt according to demand, and support multiple applications with massive wireless data transfers. The 5G SA private wireless offering, based on Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (Nokia DAC), will have the primary role of improving critical communications for Flex manufacturing operations.

Initial use cases for the 5G standalone (SA) private wireless networks will focus on increasing wireless applications and exploring the potential of 5G for reliable connectivity, massive transfers of operational data, and greater layout flexibility on the shop floor. In addition to obtaining productivity gains, the collaboration also aims to position Flex as a lighthouse to other companies interested in pursuing this journey.

Nokia DAC will provide the private wireless on-demand service as well as MX Industrial Edge computing and digital-enabling applications. Offered as a service, Nokia DAC combines plug-and-play 4.9G/LTE and 5G industrial-grade network connectivity with on-premise edge computing to provide the data management and processing to support real-time applications for smart manufacturing, predictive maintenance, remote operations and many other applications.

Nokia Network Digital Twin technology will create a digital replica of the private 5G network and its connected devices. This is designed to enable Flex to monitor network operations in real time and predict maintenance needs and potential downtime in advance, reducing disruptions in production and making its factories more efficient and productive in the future.

Nokia Bell Labs technologies focusing on novel network applications will be experimented at Flex to enable new, forward-looking use cases of deterministic networking for reconfigurable production lines to, for example, predict maintenance needs and potential network downtime in advance.

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Marcelo Marcomini, Industry 4.0 executive for Flex Brazil, said: “We welcome the collaboration with Nokia to join us on this journey to expand the scope of our solutions by integrating Nokia’s 5G private wireless expertise to improve our current operation’s efficiency and prepare for the future of manufacturing at the same time.”

Marcelo Entreconti, head of enterprise for Latin America at Nokia, added: “The partnership will leverage our strength in advanced networking and mission-critical communications with Flex’s experience in manufacturing and supply chain innovation. Together, we will explore the power of Industry 4.0 to transform how we manufacture and distribute goods in this new digital world.”

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