The concept of Industrial IoT and AI by FANUC

As a universal answer to Industrial IoT, FANUC has developed the FIELD System (FANUC Intelligent Edge Link & Drive System). It is an open platform that enables the execution of various Industrial IoT applications within a factory focusing on interconnecting edge heavy devices such as machine tools, robots, PLCs and sensors. Through creating an interactive web of connected machinery and equipment, the FIELD System is able to exploit immense amounts of data and provides a solution to analyse it in a faster and more efficient manner.

Hence, the FIELD System makes it possible to draw intelligent conclusions from data and design smarter processes, e.g make predictions about machine behaviours or potential failures.

FANUC’s open platform system gives machine tool builders, robot manufacturers, sensor and peripheral device manufacturers the freedom to develop their own applications. The target of the FIELD system is connecting each device within a factory, but also allowing flexibility to connect to upper host systems such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), SCM (Supply Chain Management) and MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems).

FANUC has already realised some applications such as LINKi and ZDT and it has developed concepts for machine learning as well as deep learning inspection.


Industrial IoT applications

MT- LINKi is a PC software that allows users to monitor devices within a factory (to look at statuses, data history, log data, etc.). They are able to connect, collect, communicate and monitor each device individually for diagnosis and analysis. Not only FANUC devices can be connected, but also third party devices that support OPC UA (Unified Architecture). This also allows more flexibility to connect to open management software such as MES (Manufacturing Efficiency System) or ERP systems.


The LINKi solutions for ROBOMACHINES (ROBOSHOT-LINKi, ROBOCUT-LINKi, ROBODRILL-LINKi) are referred to as machining monitoring systems at FANUC. They can provide insight into various machine performances, historical information logs, power consumption levels, change history, etc.
Users of ROBOSHOT-LINKi become more flexible since they are now able to monitor moulding data from a tablet PC or even a smartphone. Users are able to use remote displays of RS screens or benefit from the mail function which allows them to receive automatic email notifications about production status changes.


ZDT (Zero Downtime)

With plants operating at high levels of capacity, unexpected downtime is expensive. The FANUC and Cisco™ developed ZDT (Zero Downtime) offers the ability to proactively detect and inform customers of potential equipment issues before unexpected downtime occurs. It provides advanced analytics and reporting to help optimise equipment utilisation in areas such as the sending of smart maintenance notifications to extend equipment life and optimise maintenance costs. Overall, this offer allows users to enhance their technical support services to increase productivity and overall customer satisfaction.


The FANUC concept of AI

Generating large quantities and varying types of data requires manufacturers to develop solutions to process, analyse and implement changes based on the results in an effective and efficient manner.

“How can we further optimise our solutions? When will it be possible to make machines work autonomously? Make them learn, plan or reason?”

AI is on the rise and machine learning a hot topic. This field explores the study and construction of algorithms which enable machines to perform predictive analytics and build models to adapt independently when exposed to new situations. This promises to be the future in industry: independently learning machines which can undertake tasks more efficiently than ever before.