Industry 4.0 is about making your machines totally connected so that all sensors share all data constantly to optimize and improve production. Technology can harness all information from existing component sensors by acting as a hub for data gathering. This allows predictive maintenance and machine optimization. Data can also be analyzed to improve the design of future machines.
FANUC Corporation has been working with various technology companies on the development and deployment of the FANUC Intelligent Edge Link and Drive (FIELD) system, a platform that connects not only Computer Numerical Control machines (CNCs) and robots, but also peripheral devices and sensors – to deliver analytics that optimize manufacturing production.
The FIELD system will be a platform for the delivery of advanced analytics for FANUC CNCs, robots, peripheral devices and sensors used in automation systems. It will drive improved machine reliability, quality, flexibility and speed – elevating the Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) and increasing manufacturing profitability. It will also provide advanced machine learning and deep learning capabilities. By working with Cisco, Rockwell Automation and Preferred Networks – FANUC will offer a complete solution including network and compute infrastructure, applications and an enabling middleware platform. With this open platform — application developers, sensor and peripheral device makers, system integrators and others can build solutions that improve equipment efficiency, manufacturing output and quality.
The FIELD system extends the success of the existing FANUC ZDT (Zero Downtime) connected robots project; ZDT is built with Cisco cloud, IOT data collection software and end-to-end security capabilities.
The companies are working together to implement systems for major automotive manufacturers by leveraging the Allen-Bradley Stratix Ethernet switches from Rockwell Automation to connect robots to a Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) – all of this running on FANUC and Cisco’s ZDT Data Collection software. Automotive customers who have implemented this system are quickly realizing a significant decrease in production downtime as well as increased cost savings.
The FIELD system will bring the power of advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence into the hands of customers and application developers, driving manufacturing to a new level of productivity and efficiency. FANUC and Preferred Networks have established these new technologies for applications such as Bin Picking robots, anomaly detection and failure prediction. The FIELD system combines both artificial intelligence and edge-computing technologies, enabling distributed learning. Data is generated from robots and machines and is processed in real time at the edge of the network. This allows those devices to intelligently coordinate and collaborate in a flexible manner, resulting in sophisticated manufacturing practices not before possible.
GLOBAL Automation Technologies will be able to provide resources to customers to implement the FIELD system once it is released to industry.