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Rockwell, Fanuc and Cisco use AI to optimise production

19 April, 2016

Toru Nishikawa, CEO of Preferred Networks, predicts that the collaboration “will further accelerate the advancement of the manufacturing industry. Since the start of our work with Fanuc, leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence has been aimed not only at making machines and robots smarter, but also towards a continuous improvement of manufacturing productivity through intelligent real-time coordination and collaboration between robots and machines. We are confident that Field will play a central role in making that vision a reality.”

The collaborative Field project will help to optimise manufacturing processes by linking robots, CNCs, sensors and other devices and analysing their performance using artificial intelligence

As part of the project, Fanuc is supplying CNCs and robots with embedded sensors to track key variables required to improve machine reliability, quality, and speed. It is also working with Cisco and Preferred Networks to provide middleware software, as well as security and application lifecycle management applications.

Cisco and Rockwell will provide networking, computing and security infrastructures to connect the robots, CNCs and other cell equipment to the Field applications. This will be based on their jointly developed Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) architecture, which supports connections from single cells to large factories.

Fanuc, Rockwell and Preferred Networks will also deliver the initial application software on top of the Field middleware and infrastructure platform. Rockwell’s FactoryTalk software products will integrate with the Field system to accelerate its deployment.

Rockwell Automation’s chief technology officer, Sujeet Chand, says that the collaboration will help manufacturers to achieve enterprise-wide analytics strategies using data from their intelligent devices. “With a secure, scalable computing approach to analyse this data – from devices to the enterprise – users can improve operations and make more informed decisions tailored to meet the needs of their organisations,” he explains.

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