FANUC Developing Open Platform for Connecting CNCs, Robots, Peripheral Devices, Sensors

The system in development is part of a collaboration between FANUC and three other automation and Internet of Things providers.

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FANUC is collaborating with Cisco, Rockwell Automation and Preferred Networks to develop the FANUC Intelligent Edge Link and Drive (FIELD) system, a platform designed to connect not only its CNCs and robots, but also peripheral devices and sensors used in automation systems to deliver analytics that optimize manufacturing production. The system will be intended to drive improved machine reliability, quality, flexibility and speed, elevating Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) and increasing manufacturing profitability. It will also provide advanced machine learning and deep learning capabilities. FANUC says that the collaboration will eventually offer a complete solution including network and computer infrastructure, applications, and an enabling middleware platform. This open platform will enable application developers, sensor and peripheral device makers, and system integrators to build upon it to improve equipment efficiency, manufacturing output and quality.

The FIELD system extends the work of the existing FANUC Zero Downtime (ZDT) connected robots project; ZDT is built with Cisco cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) data collection software, and end-to-end security capabilities. For automotive manufacturers, Rockwell’s Allen-Bradley Stratix Ethernet switches connect robots to a Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), all of which will run on FANUC and Cisco’s ZDT data collection software.