OMRON Corporation announced that it has entered a strategic partnership with Nokia to participate in the «Nokia Local 5G Technology Partnership», the Finnish telecommunications company’s local 5G ecosystem for Japanese enterprises. A collaborative framework among six market leaders in Japan, including Nokia and OMRON, this ecosystem is designed to embrace the move to Industry 4.0 by accelerating the development of 5G solutions in a broad spectrum of industrial sectors. Through participation in this strategic ecosystem partnership, OMRON intends to accelerate the development of 5G solutions to help its customers to address issues on the manufacturing floor.
In the manufacturing industry, efforts are being made to increase productivity by utilizing data acquired by IoT devices in order to deal with the issues they are faced with, such as the shortage of skilled engineers and high-mix low-volume production. This is leading to a growing demand for wireless communication. Because of frequent changes in the operating environment due to movements of people and goods and interference from all sorts of devices and equipment, however, it is necessary to develop solutions that assure stable and reliable connectivity if wireless communication is to be used on the manufacturing floor.
To this ecosystem, OMRON provides robots (industrial and mobile), sensors (vision systems, environmental sensors, etc.), and controllers for the robots and sensors. By drawing on its control technologies cultivated in the development of factory automation and ample experience and knowledge of the manufacturing floor, OMRON will validate and develop 5G solutions to address manufacturing issues, thus catalyzing the move to Industry 4.0.
Guided by the three keywords of «integrated,» «intelligent,» and «interactive» as laid out in its strategic concept, «innovative-Automation,» OMRON is engaged in creating innovations for the manufacturing floor. In 2019, OMRON commenced a joint demonstration of a highly public nature with mobile carriers to evaluate the potential of 5G wireless communications. Currently, OMRON is working on measurement and transmission experiments of 5G radio waves and the development of solutions that increase productivity through harmony between humans and machines. OMRON expects that this ecosystem will accelerate its development of solutions using «local 5G,» a private network essential for smart factories, thus advancing manufacturing innovation to enhance productivity and quality on the manufacturing floor through the innovative-Automation strategy.
Shinji Fukui, Executive Officer, concurrently Senior General Manager, Technology Development Division HQ, Industrial Automation Company, OMRON Corporation, commented: «To move to the next dimension of manufacturing innovation, we need to vertically integrate technologies that have hitherto evolved through the horizontal division of labor. The local 5G network and the ecosystem centered on local 5G form the core technologies essential for this technological move. At OMRON, we are determined to contribute to the evolution of this ecosystem by realizing ‘applications for manufacturing innovation’ using 5G, as well as making a myriad of our control equipment compatible with 5G. Furthermore, through these activities, we will provide an environment where manufacturing businesses in Japan can confidently introduce local 5G.»