THK Grows Scope of Unique IoT Service to Manufacturers

The manufacturing industry stands to benefit from the expanded OMNIedge internet of things (IoT) service of THK Co., Ltd. Particularly, the service will expand to rotary components, such as motors starting March. Therefore, THK’s OMNIedge IoT service customers will be able to experience the expanded service, in addition to previous coverage for LM guides, ball screws, and actuators.

Indispensable for Production Line

THK launched OMNIedge in January 2020 as the company’s first IoT service. To illustrate, sensors go into machine components, such as LM guides, ball screws, and actuators. These sensors collect data over secured network for quantification and analysis using the company’s original algorithm. Hence, the company enables to visualize the conditions of these components and perform predictive failure detection.

OMNIedge IoT service for the manufacturing industry

Takuya Sakamoto, Executive Officer, Head of IOT Innovation Division at THK, says, “OMNIedge enhances productivity by continuously operating the production line without stopping. This does not simply predict the failure of machine element components, such as LM guides.  We have been expanding proposals to improve production efficiency in accordance with respective use cases together with customers.”

Manufacturing and utility equipment indispensable for the production line incorporate many rotary parts. In other words, they require frequent maintenance, and maintenance costs are not small. To maximize the value of predictive detection of the service, THK has expanded the target of the service to rotary components. 

Main customers that have introduced the service include automotive components, food, and materials manufacturers. They have high demand for predictive detection not only for linear motion components but also for rotary components, such as pumps, fans, and motors.

In expanding the service to rotary components, THK offers OMNIedge to industries that maintain sets of equipment in process automation. In addition, this includes utility facilities in locations away from their offices besides manufacturing equipment on the production line.  The company pitches that convenient functions for visual inspection of the conditions of the production site during patrolling and remote monitoring from the office can prevent the occurrence of considerable loss. 

THK expands the service to rotary components, such as motors.

Supports Other Platforms

Retrofitting of sensors to existing components is possible. In fact, it is viable to mount them to rotary components that are already in operation. Furthermore, they support Wi-Fi connection with minimum wiring. Initial setting at the time of installation is easy without requiring troublesome operations.  Monitoring can start immediately. 

The color of light-emitting diode (LED) on the sensor body changes in accordance with conditions. Thus, the sensors enable visual inspection of conditions without requiring a special inspection device. 

At the production site during patrolling, it is possible to detect abnormal conditions through visual inspection. Moreover, operators can perform predictive detection of rotary components using web-based monitoring applications, in addition to the checking of the status of LED. Hence, remote monitoring of status of components and equipment is workable even one is in the office. When the status exceeds preset threshold, it can prompt notification through e-mail.

THK has started connection of the service with FANUC CORPORATION’s “FIELD system” open industrial platform. The OMNIedge service also supports other industrial platforms, such as Edgecross, and MindSphere of Siemens of Germany. 

Offering global SIM compatibility to enable the use of the service using overseas communications networks, the company has expanded the service to China, the United States, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan and Singapore.  The global SIM compatibility achieves the visualization of machine element components operating at overseas plants from Japan.