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Nokia gets on the amber nectar

Finnish kit vendor Nokia has got involved in creating a ‘connected digital microbrewery’ in Australia, as 5G finally starts to make itself truly useful.

We’re usually sceptical when someone claims to have created a connected this or a 5G that, but anything that looks like it may improve the global beer ecosystem is worthy of sober analysis. In this case Nokia is collaborating with the Industry 4.0 research facility at the University of Technology Sydney to create what they claim is the world’s first 5G connected microbrewery.

Perhaps conscious that even that claim may be a tad too lofty, the press release goes on to talk of ‘UTS’s Industry 4.0 Nano-Brewery’, which is presumably an order of magnitude smaller, even, than a microbrewery. This most humble of beer-making facilities is apparently part of the UTS Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Data Science testbed. It also has a physical twin in TU Dortmund University in Germany, which presumably makes a stronger, more tasty draught, and the increasingly obligatory digital twin somewhere in the cloud.

The 5G bit involves Nokia’s FastMile 5G Gateways connected to a campus-wide Nokia Digital Automation Cloud 5G Standalone private wireless network. As is so often the case, the benefits of having all these vats, pipes and bubbling cauldrons connected to a private network are not detailed. So we’re left to imagine how much easier and more efficient the whole process is now that the brewers are able to obsess over an infinite range of data points from the comfort of their own PCs.

“UTS’s Industry 4.0 facility is an exciting environment for developing and testing new 5G use cases,” said Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia. “In the digital microbrewery, we showcase how 5G private wireless networks and cloud-based technologies help optimize the brewing process and move ever closer to achieving the perfect pint.”

“Our goal is to promote Industry 4.0 principles to local industry by offering a testbed that gives partners the keys to improve their own manufacturing processes and gain business intelligence,” said Professor Jochen Deuse, Director of Centre for Advanced Manufacturing at UTS. “Our international collaboration with TU Dortmund and Nokia allows us to globalize the outcomes of our testbed.”

Nokia and UTS announced their partnership last November and this seems to be its most significant development to date. Here are a couple of vids that offer a bit more insight into all this Industry 4.0 stuff, but if they really want to impress us they need to demonstrate they can organize a piss-up in this utopian brewery.

 

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