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FANUC to build factory of the future using NVIDIA AI platform; self-teaching robots in the FIELD system

5 October 2016

NVIDIA and FANUC Corporation are collaborating to implement artificial intelligence on the FANUC Intelligent Edge Link and Drive (FIELD) system to increase robotics productivity and bring new capabilities to automated factories worldwide.

Adding AI to the FIELD system will give robots the ability to teach themselves to do tasks faster and more efficiently. By learning together, what used to take a single robot 8 hours can now be done by eight robots in an hour.

The FIELD system is a platform to improve factory production and efficiency. By combining artificial intelligence and edge computing technology, the FIELD system processes the edge-heavy sensor data collected from various machines to make the machines intelligently and flexibly collaborate to achieve advanced manufacturing capabilities.

At IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show) 2016 in September, FANUC demonstrated the FIELD system that provides advanced analytics and deep learning capabilities for FANUC CNCs (Computer Numeric Control) and robots, peripheral devices and sensors used in automation systems.

The FIELD system allows applications such as Zero Down Time (ZDT) or capabilities such as deep learning or machine learning to be applied in the Edge level of a factory site. The FIELD system is based on Edge computing in which a large amount of data is processed within the manufacturing site, minimizing the volume and cost of sharing data, while also providing a secure connection to the Cloud for suitable applications.

IMTS-2016-FIELD-ZDT_83

The data that is on the FIELD system from various machines can also be used for collaboration among equipment, performance optimization, improved traceability and quality control.

FANUC collaborated on the development of FIELD with Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT-enabled digitization; Rockwell Automation, the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information solutions; and Preferred Networks, a leading provider of Artificial Intelligence solutions.

FIELD consists of hardware and software that allows multiple external computing devices to be added to the plant network in a highly secure manner. The software suite is composed of both open source and proprietary licensable products (from Cisco and Preferred Network). Once the FIELD software is loaded and configured, the machine data from all the automation equipment including CNC machines and robots can then be accessible to application developers through an open Application Programming Interface (API). The easy access to machine data significantly reduces the effort for a third party to develop applications to run on the FIELD system, providing a variety of monitoring, analytic and real-time functions.

The FIELD system is scheduled for release by the end of the year.

ZDT, an application that runs on FANUC’s FIELD system, currently collects data from more than 6,000 robots in 26 factories. ZDT monitors these robots to see if the application is causing abnormal wear that could lead to a failure, and if so, FANUC sends parts with support to address the issue before any downtime occurs. With ZDT, FANUC also keeps track of robot usage and sends reminders at appropriate intervals to ensure important maintenance activities are completed on time. As the FIELD system and ZDT grow in the marketplace, FANUC will be able to help more customers with intelligent condition-based maintenance notifications and help optimize the performance and life of their robots.

The convergence of Internet of Things and industrial manufacturing has begun. Connectivity to equipment on the factory floor is growing at a rapid pace. This connectivity opens the door to new sources of data enabling applications that can leverage this data to deliver real business value.

—Joe Gazzarato, director of product development, FANUC America

The age of AI is here. GPU deep learning ignited this new wave of computing where software learns and machines reason. One of the most exciting creations will be intelligent robots that can understand their environment and interact with people. NVIDIA is delighted to partner with FANUC, the world leader of industrial robotics, to realize a future where intelligent machines accelerate the advancement of humanity.

—Jen-Hsun Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA

Building the factory of the future will have wide-ranging impact. The International Federation of Robotics predicts the deployment of industrial robots will increase to around 2.6 million units worldwide by 2019—up from 1 million in 2015. These robots are central to the global manufacturing process used to make everything from cars to mobile phones.

Advances in artificial intelligence will allow robots to watch, learn and improve their capabilities. Deep learning will also cut down the time-consuming programming of robot behavior. We are thrilled to be advancing the robotics revolution with NVIDIA.

—Kiyonori Inaba, Board Member, Executive Managing Officer and General Manager of FANUC

The breakthrough that is enabling AI manufacturing is GPU-accelerated deep learning. FANUC will use a range of NVIDIA GPUs and deep learning software to enable AI in the cloud, the data center and embedded within devices.

These next-generation capabilities will include:

  • Deep learning robot training with NVIDIA GPUs

  • GPU-accelerated AI inference in FANUC Fog units used to drive robots and machines

  • Embedded systems for robots to do inference locally

October 5, 2016 in Big Data, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, Manufacturing | Permalink | Comments (0)

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