Hitachi Begins Development of Factory Automation Platform as a Service Testbed
Kagan Pittman posted on July 06, 2016 |
Outline of IIC Testbed. (Image courtesy of Hitachi)

Outline of IIC Testbed. (Image courtesy of Hitachi)

Will the Internet of Things be the future of manufacturing? Global conglomerate Hitachi Group seems to think so.

Hitachi recently partnered with Mitsubishi Electric and Intel to receive approval for their Factory Automation Platform as a Service (FA PaaS) Testbed at the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), a global non-profit organization.

The testbed will operate as a testing platform based on the reference model of IIC to test solutions in controlled scenarios that match real-world conditions, for the ultimate purpose of connecting manufacturing sites with head offices in order to streamline their operations.

Hitachi hopes to use the FA PaaS to respond to what they see as a market rapidly growing and demanding faster product development, market introduction, quality improvements and shorter lead times.

“In this backdrop, there has been a growing expectation for overall optimization that uses data related to manufacturing in the increasingly global supply chain to connect the front lines of manufacturing with management, suppliers, and customers,” Hitachi stated in a press release.

“This in turn has given rise to a need for secure connections between a variety of devices in FA environment and cutting-edge IT services (e.g., Big Data and the cloud) and for the accelerated development of applications in the field of next-generation factories,” Hitachi continued.

The FA PaaS testbed will be designed to test open IoT platforms that integrate FA that supports management and operation with existing manufacturing and information technologies.

Hitachi will use the testbed to test secure connections between the FA environment and service platform layer, as well as to test the effectiveness of testbed functions and the flow of operational data, by June 2017.

Following this, Hitachi will perform “use case” tests IIC member companies and customers.

Results collected will be incorporated into Hitachi’s “Lumada” IoT platform for use with their own customers and partners, such as FA device vendors and application providers.


Positioning of IIC Testbed in Lumada. (Image courtesy of Hitachi.)
Positioning of IIC Testbed in Lumada. (Image courtesy of Hitachi.)

Within the partnership with Mitsubishi Electric and Intel, Hitachi will be responsible for contributing information technology related products such as data processing platforms, head end systems and software, as well as provide system integration.

Mitsubishi Electric will be responsible for providing FA edge devices, applications, PLCs and drive units.

Mitsubishi Electric further plans to cooperate with Hitachi and other companies to investigate how critical data can be extracted from on-site data on shop floors.

Intel will be providing IoT gateways and supportive coordination with IIC.

For more information about Hitachi and their FA PaaS Testbed, visit www.hitachi.com.

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