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FANUC launched its ‘FIELD system’ designed for Industrial IoT at EMO 2019

Photo by FANUC Luxembourg Corporation

At EMO 2019 in Hanover, Factory automation specialist FANUC gave the go-ahead for the European debut of its Industrial IoT platform ‘FIELD system’. The company will start selling this system to the European market later this year. FIELD stands for ‘FANUC Intelligent Edge Link and Drive. Industrial IoT (IIot) refers to the networking of devices for the purpose of interaction and data exchange. The FIELD system can connect various production machines of different generations from all manufacturers in a plant and thus enables comprehensive data analysis along the entire process chain – a decisive step towards the Smart Factory.

The system which was introduced firstly in Japan and has been successfully running, has special features that distinguish it from other IIoT solutions: The FIELD system collects and analyses machine data locally (edge heavy). This means that production data is processed locally. This speeds up the production process and makes it more efficient. Different from other IIoT platforms the FIELD system allows customers to choose if they want to keep their production data in the factory or upload and store it in an external cloud. “FIELD system operates primarily on premise. It ensures a fast response to edge devices without connection to a cloud,” says Shinichi Tanzawa, President & CEO of FANUC Europe. However, if customers want to store data for future analysis or make a combined data analysis from different factory locations they can do so via a cloud solution. Also, customers can download FIELD system Apps via cloud from the FANUC App store.

Open platform

Another feature that differentiates the FIELD system is the openness of the platform. While machines with standard protocol can easily be connected to the FIELD system, for all other machines converters can be developed to connect the machines to the FIELD system. The FIELD system is therefore able to connect machines from all manufacturers and generations and to offer an overview over the whole production process.

FIELD system Apps are not only offered by FANUC itself, but also by third parties like software developers and system houses. Even end customers can develop their own Apps. This openness has just one goal: FANUC wants to optimise the effectivity and quality of the production process and improve predictive and preventative maintenance.

An app store for the FIELD system is available in Europe starting in the fourth quarter of this year. Customers can select and download their desired software solutions themselves. Two of the FANUC-owned apps FIELD system PMA and FIELD system ZDT are among the most important existing applications for the FIELD system. PMA stands for Production Monitoring and Analytics Software and is used to check and visualise the production process. On a monitor users can see at a glance whether all connected machines are running regularly and which devices are affected by a standstill and how often. FIELD system PMA also facilitates waveform failure analysis.

Preventive maintenance

ZDT (Zero Down Time) on the other hand is a tool that supports predictive and preventive maintenance. FIELD system ZDT continuously monitors the health of machines, analyses data and identifies trends – such as changes in torque and disturbance torque. All downtime, failure causes and the failure history are visualized. If any abnormalities are detected, the tool will inform operators to take preventative actions. FIELD system ZDT focusses on robots, CNC and Machines from FANUC. With FIELD system ZDT not only robot axes but also servo drives in the periphery, drives of servo welding guns or positioning tables can be monitored. At EMO visitors experienced the operating data of all active robots and machines at the booth. “The analysis of real-time data can help companies improve quality and performance of systems and processes and significantly increase productivity. Our European customers are very interested in such Artificial Intelligence solutions,” says Tanzawa.

Third party Apps

In addition to its own software developments FANUC relies on intelligent third-party apps. FIELD system is designed as an open platform. In Japan for example, FANUC cooperates with over 500 partner companies including numerous software developers for the improvement and development of FIELD system. In Europe, the number of partner companies is now also being successively expanded. FANUC already presented the first FIELD application from a third party at the Hanover Fair in April this year. The App from the company Open Data captures the OEE (Overall Efficiency of Equipment) of the entire production system in real time and visualises the data on a dashboard.

At EMO several additional third party Apps were shown alongside FANUC’s own software solutions FIELD system PMA and FIELD system ZDT. Among the featured tools is the “Daily Check of Equipment App” which is a tool for the easy and reliable execution and recording of daily checks. Checked items are displayed by reading the QR code on equipment and records can be input by selecting, filling-in or taking photographs. The “CNC program App” tracks who logged on to the machine and made changes to the program. With this information the app is then able to identify problems caused by those changes.

For more information, please visit http://www.fanuc.eu.