IoT-led Industry 4.0 Accelerating Transformation of Factories to Smart Factories
The Industry 4.0 trend, which began in Germany, is spreading within Japanese manufacturing. In particular, deploying IoT in factories that connects all types of machines in the factory to the Internet, or the transformation to smart factories, is accelerating.
In an effort to further increase its competitiveness, Shimadzu Corporation is transforming its factories to smart factories. The company is proactively promoting visualizing the production status, increasing traceability and replacing simple tasks by machines. Additionally, to further promote IoT, the company deployed FUJITSU Manufacturing Industry Solution VisuaLine (VisuaLine), which visualizes the status of the production line by utilizing log data from the manufacturing equipment.
Visualizing the Production Line to Understand the Presence or Absence of a Problem Intuitively
Even for people who work on improvement activities in the field every day, it can be difficult to judge the source of the problem or whether the presumed improvements are correct. VisuaLine can graphically represent the constantly changing operational status of the production line in chronological order. By displaying errors that occurred in each process over this in a bubble chart, the presence or absence of a problem could be understood intuitively. Additionally, since it supports in-depth data mining, accumulated data can be analyzed for overall optimization from upstream process improvements.
Increasing the ability to respond to problems has led to the revitalization of improvement activities and increased motivation in the field.
Challenges Shimadzu Corporation Worked on and the Effects
1Visualizing the production line for next generation factoryView the operational status of the production line at a glance with clear graphs
2Ascertaining problems on the production line that require improvementVisualization reveals the problems for speedy improvement
3Improving productivity where dramatic improvement was difficultImproved productivity by 15% in six months