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Press Release -- May 16th, 2016
Source: Cisco Systems

Making the factory of the future a reality with FANUC

FANUC and Cisco are working together to implement systems for major automotive manufacturers.

Written by Senior Director of Manufacturing Solutions Bryan Tantzen

A collaboration between IoT, industrial automation, and machine learning are making the factory of the future a reality— representing a historic shift in the industry. It’s been talked about for years, but now it’s really happening.

FANUC, the world’s leading maker of industrial robots has announced a collaborative effort with Cisco, Rockwell Automation, and Preferred Networks (PFN) to jointly develop and deploy the FANUC Intelligent Edge Link and Drive (FIELD) system

The FIELD platform delivers analytics that optimize manufacturing production by connecting to Computer Numerical Control machines (CNCs), robots, peripheral devices, and sensors.

The companies are working together to implement systems for major automotive manufacturers. Customers using this system are experiencing a decrease in production downtime and an increase in cost savings.

What is FIELD?

The FIELD system will be a platform for the delivery of advanced analytics for FANUC CNCs, robots, peripheral devices, and sensors used in automation systems. It will drive improved machine reliability, quality, flexibility, and speed – increasing Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) and manufacturing profitability. Application developers and others can build solutions that improve OEE, output, and quality using this open platform.

The FIELD system extends the success of our existing FANUC Zero Downtime (ZDT) project in the United States that leverages the Cisco IoT cloud and software platform to help our customers realize profound business outcomes from connecting their machines and plant floor assets. This is part of our Digital Manufacturing initiative from the Manufacturing IVSG team.

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While FIELD will initially be an on-premise application, we anticipate some of the uses will require cloud or hybrid environments. Service managers and customers can see the status of their robots and we imagine a future where the opportunity for a multi-plant view and dynamic app updates will require Cisco cloud services.

Dramatic improvements are anticipated from these efforts. According to a recent SCM World survey of more than 400 manufacturing business line executives we expect outcomes such as:

  1. Reduced downtimes of 48%
  2. Reduced defects of 49%
  3. OEE improvements of 16%.

The partnership with FANUC is evidence that these outcomes can and are being realized. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this effort, one that will be key to our positioning in other industries that want to realize the benefits of digitization.

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