VIDEO: How Industry 4.0 is Becoming Affordable for SMEs
James Anderton posted on June 28, 2017 | 5191 views

Robotics and machine-tools are prime candidates for being connected via the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) for performance analytics and predictive maintenance, among other purposes.

In the video above, ENGINEERING.com’s Jim Anderton reports on the latest technologies on display at this years FANUC America open house event, which took place at the foot of Mt. Fuji, in Japan.

At the event, Mick Estes, general manager at FANUC America explained how collaborative robots, artificial intelligence (AI) and the IIoT are becoming big trends in manufacturing.

“FANUC development engineers have really expanded the use of AI for the factory floor,” Estes said.

“It’s all getting fused together and the future is here now, for connectivity. FANUC’s FIELD system has been expanding and now includes more of our unique products, but also other companies’ products. That’s exactly why we have products like FIELD that will allow us to include everything in the overall factory manufacturing environment – nobody gets left behind with products like FIELD.”

With respect to controls and programming, FANUC is approaching the looming skills gap by prioritizing ease of use. HMIs and teaching pendants are being designed with an emphasis on intuitiveness.

“We see our products becoming more intuitive and so you don’t necessarily have to understand GFS codes in the machine tool area or how to program a robot with specific code. We’re making it so that the ease of use takes over and launches new users into a new environment.”

When asked if this Industry 4.0 technology will be affordable for SMEs, Estes had encouraging words:

“Oh yeah, and it is right now. We have many companies using these systems for small lots of manufacturing, easily switching over between products, manufacturing them on the same line at the same rate. The time is now.”

For more information, visit the FANUC America website.

Recommended For You