The Connected Factory Paves the Way for the
Future of Manufacturing
Manufacturers need to adapt themselves to diversifying customer needs, transform new ideas into reality, and work more efficiently. They constantly struggle to overcome new challenges. In a perfect world, multiple companies can work together, complementing each other with internal and external strengths. Hitachi's Lumada IoT platform integrates information technology and operational technology to support social systems. Built on the considerable experience and knowledge that Hitachi has accumulated in the manufacturing industry, Lumada is designed to manage manufacturing processes to turn concepts into reality. By digitally connecting people, goods, equipment, and other elements and analyzing data in real time, Lumada senses and analyzes production situations in detail. It can project errors or delays and seamlessly formulate measures to prevent incidents from occurring, making manufacturing sites operate more flexibly and robustly.
Lumada-powered collaborative creation opens up a whole new dimension in manufacturing.
Visualizing connected processes to reduce bottlenecks
What causes loss of productivity?
It has become increasingly difficult to identify productivity bottlenecks using conventional approaches to improving manufacturing processes. Now we have a new approach, that uses IoT to analyze the links between these processes. Based on Big Data analysis and artificial intelligence in manufacturing environments, the new self-learning simulation technology helps optimize production planning by proactively preparing and responding to possible changes. Hitachi is breathing new life into manufacturing.
Okuma Corporation, a comprehensive machine tool manufacturer, is currently working on achieving mass customization that delivers productivity equivalent to that of mass production, even in ultra-high-mix low-volume manufacturing. Here, we introduce a new proof-of-concept model which combines the efforts of Okuma and Hitachi, focusing on a faster factory control cycle* and the evolution of production visualization.
* A process control system to immediately and accurately identify where and how components are processed in a factory.
New "eyes" that quickly reveal the invisible
Data is amassing daily for traceability and operational logs, and efforts are already under way to use data to predict defects. Special cameras, for example, can record situations with the movements of people or conditions with materials or facilities, analyzing the large amount of information with artificial intelligence to detect potential manufacturing equipment breakdowns or assess the actions of specific operators. We will improve productivity by preventing defects, precisely assessing changes or abnormalities with respect to workers, objects, or equipment that would otherwise be imperceptible to human eyes while ensuring thorough traceability.
Customer case study
Daicel Corporation, which manufactures core components for airbags, has developed in collaboration with Hitachi an image analysis system that quantitatively determines the status of machines, materials, and worker activities on the front lines of manufacturing. The system uses 3D form-recognition depth cameras for early detection of defects in machines and materials and deviations in worker activities, helping on-site management supervisors to take measures to prevent accidents. For more information, check out the following link.
With a long history of offering a wide range of products and services, Hitachi improves efficiency and productivity in manufacturing by integrating operational technology to control and run production systems as well as information technology to analyze data on workers, materials and equipment. Here, we have showcased more about Hitachi's initiatives to support manufacturing evolution.