FANUC Corp. is a Japanese company that announced that it has created a network that will connect robots over IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) that will set the bar for other factories of the future to aim for.
The new solution for factories by FANUC will ensure that robots stay connected to a network and work together in an industrial factory layout and will be able to present analytics data for a company's perusal.
Sujeet Chang, the CTO of Rockwell Automation, told Engineering.com, "With a secure scalable compute approach to analyzing this data -- from device to the enterprise -- users can improve operations and make more informed decisions tailored to meet the needs of the organizations."
The technology would also allow apps to be installed onto the software which would further provide data for companies to observe. The idea is that robot makers will also connect their machines and tailored apps to the network, which could see some automakers connecting to the FANUC network and letting robots build vehicles in a streamlined assembly.
Chief Executive of FANUC, Yoshiharu Inaba, said: "WE believe this will be a de facto standard for factories around the world.
Toshimitsu Kawano, managing director of Beckhoff Automation Japan, spoke to the Wall Street Journal, saying, "This gives Fanuc a tremendous competitive edge because it would be the first player to provide such a service. Bringing the concept of app stores to the factory robot industry is what U.S. and German companies are all planning for, but haven't been able to do."
According to WSJ, FANUC had the biggest share in the global industrial robot market last year. The company owns factories that build Apple iPhones and manufacture Tesla Motors' cars.
Fanuc is working with Cisco, Rockwell and Preferred Networks on the new interconnected factory network system. The FIELD system they have created together consists of sensors within the machinery that observes the efficiency of a factory and then produces the data. The system will also have security measures in place that Cisco and Rockwell Automation specialize in.
Rowan Trollope, Senior Vice President of IoT and Applications at Cisco, said: "This collaboration represents a historic shift in the industry, with IoT, industrial automation, and machine learning coming together to make the factory of the future a reality. It's been talked about for years, but now it is really happening. Cisco couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of this effort, one that will be key to our positioning in other industries that want to realize the benefits of this digitization."
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