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Agreement on cooperation for the speedy establishment and service launch of the FIELD system optimizing manufacturing production with IoT

July 28, 2016

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation
NTT Communications Corporation
NTT DATA Corporation

On July 28, 2016, FANUC CORPORATION (hereinafter referred to as "FANUC"), Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (hereinafter referred to as "NTT"), NTT Communications Corporation (hereinafter referred to as "NTT Com"), and NTT DATA Corporation (hereinafter referred to as "NTT DATA") came to an agreement on cooperating with regard to edge-computing technologies and the use of ICT infrastructure, fields which each company is focusing on, and other areas. The companies entered into an agreement for the purpose of the speedy establishment and launch of services of "FANUC Intelligent Edge Link and Drive system (hereinafter referred to as the "FIELD system")," which FANUC has been developing. The FIELD system is an open platform for the delivery of advanced analytics to optimize manufacturing production by connecting CNCs (Computer Numerical Control), robots, peripheral devices, sensors, and the like.

Background and the aim of the cooperation

FANUC is a global supplier of factory automation and robotics, which has been taking the initiative in the development and commercialization of the "FIELD system." The FIELD system is an open platform that connects various pieces of equipment used at manufacturing sites with networks, and intelligently processes and utilizes big data generated from there, resulting in sophisticated manufacturing practices that previously were not possible*1. On the other hand, the NTT Group has been promoting "Co-Innovation (co-creation of technological innovation)" in collaboration with its business partners through ICT, as a "Value Partner" that would be a customer’s continuous choice. Regarding manufacturing practices as being the most important field, the entire NTT Group will aim to create high value-added services and establish new business models with business partners. In this cooperation, the NTT Group will participate in the FIELD system concept promoted by FANUC. Besides the speedy establishment and service launch, the Group and FANUC aim to make the FIELD system into a de facto standard using the high-level technology possessed by NTT Laboratories, and the ICT infrastructure and management solutions that NTT Com has been developing globally. Moreover, NTT DATA will support customers using the FIELD system as their operations change, drawing on its achievements and expertise in the development of applications using big data analytics as a starting point to solve various problems at factories.

Outline of cooperation and actions to be taken by each company

NTT's edge-computing technology and NTT Com's networks and other ICT infrastructure and management services will be applied to the FIELD system. This allows for Edge-Heavy processing of data collected from machines that are dispersed at various locations, which accelerates the realization of advanced manufacturing practices where machines intelligently coordinate in a flexible manner. Such manufacturing practices were until now not possible.

1. FANUC: Development of the FIELD system improving productivity and efficiency for manufacturers

FANUC has been developing the FIELD system in collaboration with Cisco, Rockwell, and Preferred Networks. The FIELD system processes and utilizes big data generated by equipment at manufacturing sites in real time and in a sophisticated, efficient, and Edge-Heavy manner. In the areas of management, operations, application delivery, and development of the FIELD system using the networks, technologies at each company of the NTT Group will be combined with a platform including the hardware developed so far by these four companies to attempt the initial completion and widespread use of the FIELD system.

2. NTT: Accelerating the completion of the FIELD system with its R&D achievements

Through the combination of edge-computing technology, for which NTT has been promoting research and development*2 and Cisco solutions*3, various applications will be delivered and managed at edge servers located at manufacturing sites, allowing for high-speed data exchange among a variety of different machine types, and real-time distributed processing.

3. NTT Com: Construction of operation and management systems for the FIELD system

NTT Com will support the initial establishment of the FIELD system and its integrated management and operation so as to provide secure services of the FIELD system covering production bases in various locations. The company will also participate as the network integrator for the FIELD system to support manufacturers in deploying the FIELD system in a problem-free way.

4. NTT DATA: Development of applications for the FIELD system

With extensive expertise in data-analysis technology and business consulting, NTT DATA participates as the application developer for the FIELD system to support customers using the FIELD system in re-engineering their operations.



About the FIELD system

FIELD system is a platform that brings further improvements in productivity and efficiency to manufacturing practices with advanced machine learning that is used by customers and application developers. The combination of artificial intelligence and edge-computing technologies allows for distributed machine learning, and data collected from machines is processed Edge-Heavy, in real time. This allows these machines to intelligently coordinate in a flexible manner, resulting in advanced manufacturing practices not before possible.


*1: Collaboration with the leading manufacturing company: Optimizing manufacturing with analytics (April 18, 2016)

*2: Formulating "edge-computing concept" promoting the development of new applications that require high responsivity and big data processing (January 23, 2014)

*3: Cisco EAF (Edge Analytics Fabric: message exchange platform for IoT), Fog Director (application delivery manager), and so on