The “Digital Utility Cloud” concept aims to push digital innovation by streamlining internal operations and improving customer service, which are often duplicated throughout the machine tool industry.
For this, the three companies will work to develop cloud service that can be adopted by any company and ultimately seek to establish the solution as a new de facto standard in the industry.
In the manufacturing industry, Japan faces considerable headwinds as the impacts of the Fourth Industrial Revolution continue to reverberate on a global scale.
Each company in Japan’s domestic machine tool industry has played their part in maintaining competitiveness and a stable business environment by leveraging their respective areas of expertise.
Nevertheless, in the near future, the use of digital technology will become an increasingly vital element in accelerating efforts to boost companies’ ability to compete on the global stage.
Namely, it is becoming important to digitize services such as maintenance diagnosis and services for streamlining internal operations.
Rather than having machine tool manufacturers approach digitization on an individual basis, this process should take place on an industry-wide scale with these services being made available as utilities for common use.
Outline and Benefits of “Digital Utility Cloud”
This service manages equipment data including machine tool operation status, personnel data like work logs collected by mobile devices, and static data such as manuals and specifications on a platform that enables safe and secure use.
By using the AI engine to analyze the accumulated data for various purposes, the companies that use this service can take advantage of this data to reduce internal costs and resources required for development and improve customer service.
This will effectively allow users to focus budgetary and developmental resources on areas requiring dedicated focus. Plans also exist to offer a store function for customers to purchase applications developed by machine tool manufacturers and IT vendors.
As described above, the services that will help realize the “Digital Utility Cloud” offered by the three companies are expected to be widely used by companies in the machine tool industry and their customers as an ecosystem. (Fig 2. Overview of Digital Utility Cloud)
Each of the three companies will have unique contributions in the building this new cloud service for the machine tool industry.
For instance FANUC will outline the functions required for the Digital Utility Cloud. FANUC will additionally be in charge of functions required for the edge layer, taking advantage of experience gained through the development of its “FIELD system(4), which is a solution used for edge layer.
While, Fujitsu will manage the application layer, leveraging knowledge gained through the development of its “FUJITSU Manufacturing Industry Solution COLMINA” suite of digital manufacturing solutions, which consolidates the various manufacturing technologies and tools that the company has developed to date in a single platform.
And, NTT Com will oversee the ICT infrastructure and security functions required to realize secure data utilization by relying on expertise gained through the provision network, cloud, and security services and solutions.