Nokia launches new AI tool aimed at Industry 4.0

Kit vendor Nokia today launched MX Grid, what it is claims in the world’s first ‘on-premise, hyper interconnected and distributed AI/ML solution’.

Andrew Wooden

April 22, 2024

2 Min Read

Aimed at the Industry 4.0 sector, MX Grid is supposed to enable organizations to improve OT responsiveness and decision making by processing and analysing data closest to the source.

The release says that most AI/ML assets run in cloud environments today. It’s existing Nokia MX Industrial Edge (MXIE) platform runs AI/ML processing on-premises, but the MX Grid ‘brings this capability even closer to the OT data source.’

We’re told it does this via a pool of orchestrated compute capable field devices – known as ‘micro-edges’ – with a specialized, AI-capable software stack. These micro-edges are connected by private wireless networks and/or wifi using MX Boost, another of Nokia’s industry focussed tools.

To illustrate what the point of all this is, Nokia provides an example of a quality assurance use case in which the application on the micro-edge analyses real-time sensor data and video feeds coming from the connected machine. ‘Depending on the deviation level, either an immediate action can be triggered directly by the micro-edge or the MXIE peer application takes over the monitoring for deeper analysis of real time data for later corrective action. This results in improved latency and optimized network load,’ states the release.  

Safety in industrial environments is offered as another example of what this tech can help with. The Visual Position and Object Detection (VPOD) application uses the MX Grid architecture to process video data next to the camera, which apparently gives more accurate asset tracking and positioning thereby ‘improving worker safety and contextual awareness.’

“Achieving Industry 4.0 objectives for enterprises requires effective, responsive, and agile OT decision making based on instant and actionable insights,” said Stephan Litjens, Vice President of Enterprise Campus Edge Solutions at Nokia. “As part of the Nokia one platform for industrial digitalization, MX Grid enables organizations to harness the power of distributed intelligence by processing and analysing data closest to the source, resulting in even lower latency and improved responsiveness. This is imperative to achieving priorities such as worker safety, with the new architecture supporting a wide range of mission- and life-critical industrial use cases like predictive maintenance, security and surveillance, and quality assurance.”

Anna Ahrens, Principal Research Analyst, Manufacturing Technology at Omdia added: “We are observing a significant trend of decentralized processing in industrial technology moving compute and AI/ML capabilities to devices near the OT data source. In the upcoming years, we anticipate a steady increase in these connected edge nodes that are the true enablers of the industrial digitalization. Nokia MX Grid addresses these industry needs introducing a transformative decentralized AI/ML processing platform harnessing the power of private wireless connectivity and on-prem OT edge. This innovation facilitates emerging use case scenarios with low latency requirements.”

Last week Nokia posted its Q1 2024 numbers, which showed sales were down 19% year-on-year but its gross margin improved by ten percentage points, resulting in a 52% year-on-year profit increase.

About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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