Mr. Barth, the FANUC partner booth at Automatica illustrates the strength of networks that manufacturing companies need for a sustainable industry 4.0 strategy. What is FANUC's approach to data networking? What is your Industrial-Internet-of Things (IIot) approach?
We have launched the FIELD system – FIELD stands for FANUC Intelligent Edge Link & Drive System. It is an open platform that supports simultaneous use of different IIoT applications within a production facility.
With the FIELD system, machines, robots, CNC controls and sensors can be connected via the software. The more components you include, the more powerful is the data volume that you can use, for instance, for evaluations. The software is available both on-premise and cloud-based.
How can your partners develop new services with this platform?
As already mentioned, FIELD offers open interfaces, therefore – in principle – all intelligent manufacturing components can be integrated within the production. The component manufacturers, system integrators or software houses can develop applications for FIELD, which are then made available via the FANUC appstore. We provide a software development kit for this purpose.
Our own apps include the analytics app "Zero-Downtime Tool" (ZDT) for fault diagnosis and LINKi, our service for real-time monitoring with the option of linking the data of the operations management software with the MES (Manufacturing Efficiency System) or ERP system.
I am convinced that we will see very creative solutions in the future. In essence, it all depends on the end customers. Basic technologies for the platform economy are available, now manufacturing companies have the opportunity to expand or realign their business models. This scope of action is new and highly exciting!