Industry | Report
Industry Heightens Move to Magnify Smart Factories

anufacturing hubs that make use of internet of things (IoT) are on the rise. The concept of industrial IoT started to become more pronounced in 2016 and actual introduction to production sites happened in 2018.

From 2019 onwards, industry players believe industrial IoT will spread more intensely.

Production processes are diversifying because of the high-quality assembly for computerized vehicles, the continuing influx of mobile devices, increase in demand of industrial equipment for production automation, diversification of needs of consumers, among many others. For this reason, manufacturing techniques and devices need to be changed.

Surface mounter manufacturers connect devices on production lines through local area network (LAN) and digitize and exchange production data to visualize the state of operations. Then, they accumulate, analyze, and process the data by cloud or edge computing. IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) maximize production line performance, streamlining management ranging from production planning and process preparation to shipment arrangement.

Leads Global Scene
Smart factories are continuously evolving to propel its use. In order to make factories smarter, which include the pre- and post-processes for assembly, companies are expanding their tie-ups and collaborations. In pre-processes, parts warehouses and automated guided vehicles (AGV) are combined as a system while automation of odd-shaped parts mounting and robots doing screw-tightening are employed in post processes.

FUJI Corporation has heightened its FUJI Smart Factory system, not only in Japan, but in other countries as well including China. Globally, more than 200 companies have already introduced this system.

Nobuyuki Soga, President, FUJI Corporation, said, “In order for Japan to lead the world as a technological powerhouse, Japan’s assembly industry need to spearhead Industry 4.0”.

FUJI’s Nexim integrated-production system (assembly software) can prepare the data required for initiating production of multiple product models and can also make production plans. The system, moreover, provides a scheduling function for the entire assembly process, allowing precise time estimations ranging from preparation of necessary materials to completion of production in production lines.

Adoption of smart factory systems are expected to go on full swing from this year.
Adoption of smart factory systems are expected to go on full swing from this year.

Moves to Gen2 Version
Panasonic Corporation offers the iLNB integrated-line management system as a total manufacturing process solution to implement a smart factory. The system is based on the company’s PanaCIM-EE integrated-production management software for manufacturing execution system (MES).

PanaCIM-EE, as an MES, can find out the status of each process on assembly lines and support operators. The company started in Oct. 2018 to accept orders for PanaCIM-EE Gen2, a functionally enhanced version of PanaCIM-EE. While the old software allows one computer to control Panasonic-made devices on assembly lines, the new software makes it possible for one computer to control devices, including those made by other companies, and to collect and analyze information on these devices on the production line in real time.

Streamlines Processes in Plants
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. offers Intelligent Factory, an integrated system based on surface-mount lines. The system allows comprehensive streamlining of plants including mainly the company’s surface mounters and also in combination with other companies’ devices such as assembly parts storage systems and reflow furnaces. Necessary functions such as programming, scheduling, and production support are provided as individual software packages. Users can introduce the system in a step-by-step manner according to their investment scale by selecting the desired functions from these packages.

Optimizes Variable Mix, Variable Volume
JUKI Corporation is globally offering JUKI Smart Solution proposals based on its JUKI Advanced Network system (JaNets) assembly integration system. The company has recently developed a printed circuit board (PCB) production optimization solution by further enhancing JaNets in collaboration with Hitachi Ltd.

The new solution optimizes variable-mix, variable-volume production. JaNets comes with five software packages that optimize PCB production lines, including production progress and result management, operation result analysis, failure analysis and facility maintenance, and stock management.