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FANUC and Cisco Collaborate to Increate Uptime for Industrial Robots

January 21, 2016

Cisco Systems G.K.

FANUC CORPORATION (President: Yoshiharu Inaba; Head office: Oshino-mura, Yamanashi Prefecture; FANUC) and Cisco Systems G.K. (President: Miyuki Suzuki; Address: Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo; Cisco) today announced a collaboration to connect to the network the industrial robots that the two companies jointly offer to plants in the manufacturing industry to help customers in the manufacturing industry to promote efficient operation. By analyzing the robot operation status and detecting potential problems using a server installed in a plant, it enables replacement of parts in a scheduled maintenance window and avoids unplanned suspension of production and manufacturing lines and disruption in manufacturing operation across a production area or a factory.

The announcement comes after Cisco and FANUC's 12-month Zero Downtime (ZDT) pilot project with a major automotive manufacturer in North America. FANUC and Cisco helped almost completely eliminate downtime of manufacturing equipment and industrial robots and as a result increased overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

Many manufacturers operate at high volumes, and unplanned production downtime is costly. An automaker estimates that unplanned downtime can lose 2 million yen per minute on average. With the FANUC ZDT Solution, the system proactively detects and informs of potential problems in robots, control devices, or manufacturing processes before unexpected downtime occurs, allowing the maintenance issue to be addressed in a planned outage window.

Cisco's new Connected Machines offering helps enable machine builders and end-user manufacturers to embed Cisco networking, security and compute technologies directly, or through a factory-floor aggregation device, in manufacturing equipment and cells.

FANUC, a world-leading industrial robot company, uses big data analytics in the network edge and cloud to identify maintenance procedures that can predict potential breakdowns in factory equipment before they occur. FANUC robots are equipped with sensors that keep collecting a wide range of data including temperature, production cycle, and machine operation status. By analyzing data in accordance with a situation, the system predicts wear and tear of bearings, transducers and other parts.

In the past, issues were discovered only after production downtime had occurred in the factory and only when a physical connection to the robot allowed for analysis and subsequent service. With the FANUC ZDT solution, the robot is connected through a Cisco network and then into a Cisco edge compute data collector in the plant.

The data relevant for the maintenance issue is sent to an analytic server in the plant where the analytics engine captures the “out of range” exceptions and predicts the maintenance need. Then, an alert is sent from the analytic server when parts need to be replaced, and an instruction about relevant procedures that should be followed is displayed.

Yoshiharu Inaba, President and Representative Director of FANUC, says future implementation of this solution across all the manufacturing facilities driven by FANUC robots could add profound value for manufacturers and help enable the IoT Digital Transformation that many companies have long anticipated.

“Preventing unplanned downtime by implementing ZDT is a huge savings for our customers and makes the FANUC robots with ZDT a tremendous value. With Cisco, we can provide customers with new values that could not have been attained with individual robots. We believe that it has an extraordinary potential as a platform for delivering stronger functions and new services.”

Find out more by watching the FANUC Cisco ZDT Overview Video (English).