FANUC Corp. is teaming up with Cisco, Rockwell Automation and Preferred Networks (PFN) to develop and deploy the FANUC Intelligent Edge Link and Drive (FIELD) system for major automotive manufacturers.
The new Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform will expand upon the FANUC ZDT (Zero Downtime) project to connect not only CNC machines and industrial robots, but also peripheral devices and sensors for greater analytical data to improve overall equipment efficiency (OEE) and increase profitability.
“With a secure scalable compute approach to analyze this data—from device to the enterprise—users can improve operations and make more informed decisions tailored to meet the needs of their organizations,” said Sujeet Chand, CTO of Rockwell Automation.
What FANUC, Cisco, Rockwell Automation and Preferred Networks Are Bringing to the Table
The Allen-Bradley Stratix Ethernet switches from Rockwell Automation will be used to connect FANUC robots to Cisco’s ZDT Data Collection software.
PFN provides the FIELD system with an open deep-learning framework (Chainer), an IoT Stream Engine (SensorBee) and other machine learning libraries within its Deep Intelligence in-Motion (DIMo) platform.
Data generated from the robots and machines are processed in real time with PFN’s AI technology and edge computing for distributed learning. The devices coordinate and collaborate in reaction to the processed data.
Cisco and Rockwell Automation will together provide networking, computing and security infrastructure to connect the automation to FIELD applications. The Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) architecture, collaboratively developed by the two companies, offers improved security and scalability.
FANUC, Rockwell Automation and Preferred Networks collectively developed the initial Application Software, FIELD middleware and infrastructure platform. The new technology extends the LINK-i and ZDT applications currently deployed with additional deep learning applications.
FactoryTalk View, VantagePoint and Production Center, from Rockwell Automation, are planned to integrate with the FIELD system to speed deployment.
IIoT, Industrial Automation and Machine Learning
The companies involved see the future of manufacturing undoubtedly heading down the road of always-on automation and digital technologies.
“This collaboration represents a historic shift in the industry, as IoT, industrial automation and machine learning are coming together to make the factory of the future a reality,” said Rowan Trollope, senior vice president of IoT and Applications at Cisco. “It’s been talked about for years, but now it is really happening.”
These advancements in how manufacturers operate are not yet widely felt throughout the industry, but they are a growing trend. For more information on how companies are approaching the dawn the smart-factory, continue reading on with us about how Manufacturers May Not Be Ready to Harness the Benefits of IIoT.
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