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Business

Fanuc seeks to connect factory machinery of all makes

Fanuc envisions a system that can control all machinery in a factory, even those from other manufacturers.

TOKYO -- Fanuc hopes to create a system that can control the operating states of every piece of machinery on the factory floor, including robots, machine tools and other equipment made by other companies. 

The Japanese manufacturer of factory automation equipment has teamed with Cisco Systems, a U.S. maker of communications network equipment, and others to develop the system. They hope to have it ready as soon as this fall for use in factories.

The system would incorporate internet of things technologies to connect all equipment in the factory for centralized management of their operating states, and machine learning to help monitor and predict machinery failures and more quickly determine how to improve the operating efficiency of each individual piece of equipment. Factory operators could use this process to improve their productivity.

Fanuc will share specifications and other technological information about the system with other manufacturers so the machinery can all connect together in a network.

Fanuc will host an event to promote this project in August that it expects hundreds of companies to attend, including makers of machine tools, robots and cutting tools, as well as companies from the information technology sector.

After the event, Fanuc aims to sign contracts with individual companies to use the system for a fee, planning to turn this into a new source of revenue.

(Nikkei)

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