24 Jul 2024


Japanese trio form JV to develop smart edge systems

Three Japanese companies – Fanuc, Hitachi and Preferred Networks (PFN) – are establishing a joint venture company to develop “the world’s most advanced” intelligent edge systems using AI (artificial intelligence) technologies to achieve cyclic, real-time control by linking edge devices such as industrial machines, machine tools and robots to the cloud. They will also work on other next-generation control systems.

The three partners are each investing an initial 10 million yen ($90,600) in the new company, Intelligent Edge System. It is due to start operating in April with Hitachi executive vice-president Yutaka Saito as CEO.

The new company will combine Fanuc’s expertise in machine tools and robots with Hitachi‘s knowledge of control technologies and other aspects of OT and IT, and PFN‘s deep learning and distributed computing technologies. After establishing the JV, the three companies will test business potential and create business plans, before undertaking system development and expanding fields of application.

PFN already has capital tie-ups with Fanuc and Hitachi. “We have been working together to create innovative manufacturing bases where machine learning and deep learning technologies are used to establish intelligent links between machine tools, robots, and other devices,” says PFN’s president and CEO, Toru Nishikawa. “Now, by establishing this joint venture company, our three companies will accelerate the development and provision of innovative technologies that leverage each of our respective specialty fields, to further advance this trend on a global scale.”

“By merging the strengths of these three companies, we will develop and offer the world’s most advanced intelligent edge systems,” adds Hitachi’s president and CEO, Toshiaki Higashihara.