" ITREALMS: Nokia ‘factory in a box’ debuts, anticipates fast-changing manufacturing needs

Friday, February 23, 2018

Nokia ‘factory in a box’ debuts, anticipates fast-changing manufacturing needs

Nokia-led group of 12 electronics industry players have unveiled the ‘factory in a box’ concept, to simplify how manufacturers could stay ahead of industry demands 4.0 through agile production that could be packed, transported and brought back into service in a matter of hours, reports ITRealms

The group, ITRealms gathered, started working on the concept in the summer of 2017, aimed at building a single electronics manufacturing line using cargo containers that can be moved to locations as demand dictates.

Collaboration, ITRealms reports, was driven by the expected changes in manufacturing sparked by Industry 4.0, including cloud-based solutions, robotics and new electronic manufacturing IoT solutions, all of which will demand greater agility and flexibility from manufacturers.

Potential use cases include but not limited to building for 'country of origin' requirements - The container can be driven to a location, build the required volume, and then be moved again as needed.

The new product introduction - With new products, time to market is a competitive advantage. By moving the "factory in a box" to partners, prototyping can be quickly done and fixes quickly performed and tested.

And disaster recovery - When a site is hit by a natural disaster, business continuity plans kick in but can take time. With a spare portable factory, critical customer orders can still be achieved in a timely manner.

In late 2017, the project took a step forward at Nokia's Digital Creativity Lab opening in Munich, where a cargo container with a collaborative robot assembly station was packed, moved to a new location by truck, then restarted within hours at the new location where small Lego cars were assembled, proving the precision of the machines.

The final step in the proof of concept was achieved on February 9, 2018, when full electronic manufacturing of a printed circuit board and robotic assembly and testing took place.

The group - Nokia, Beta Layout, DHL, Fuji, HARTING, Isel, isoloc, MTEK Consulting, Mycronic, Rehm Thermal Systems, Viscom, and 42Q - now plans to demonstrate this full capability at the Hanover Messe in April 2018.

Chuks Egbune/GEE

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