IVI Letter Vol.2(English)(2016/02/24)

Topics from activities of business scenario working groups

In this newsletter, WG105 “Equipment Life Cycle Management” is introduced. Mr Yoshihiko Watanabe of Yazaki Parts Co., the facilitator of this group, was interviewed.

Mr Yoshihiko Watanabe

■About the aim of the working group and expected outcome

Working Group (WG) 105 is headed by Yazaki Parts Co., which manufactures various auto components such as wiring harnesses and connectors.  The subject of WG105 discussions is also one of the most important issues for the manufacturing industry.  WG105 is now making efforts to promote the “equipment life cycle management,” which will help establish the optimal way to control all production phases from the introduction of facilities to their disposal (the introduction phase, growth phase, maturity phase, decline phase and disposal), so that manufacturers can improve the total cost performance throughout their products’ life.

Under the current situation, “operators” that use the equipment, “process designers” that design production processes using the facilities, “equipment manufacturers” and “facility maintenance firms” are working separately from each other.  Because of that, the facilities occasionally break down earlier than their expected life span.  Even regarding anticipated problems, if information is not properly shared, the equipment sometimes has to be suspended due to those issues.  Problems could also occur in association with design specifications for production processes and in relation to uses that are not expected by equipment manufacturers.  By sharing unorganized information and promoting the “equipment life cycle management” to control the entire product flow, companies will become able to monitor the facility life span in real time.

■Reference model and to-be with leveraging IoT

Manufacturers can control the following three activities if deploying general administrators to “manage the equipment life cycle.”

  • Gather and manage information on the equipment life cycle
  • Analyze and estimate the equipment life cycle
  • Make proposals on the equipment life span

“Data on the life span of facilities is traditionally closed and fragmented” in each company (BEFORE IMPROVEMENT).  But if connecting and sharing information that facility “operators,” “process designers,” “equipment manufacturers” and “facility maintenance firms” separately have (AFTER IMPROVEMENT), “the information on the equipment life span will be combined in and outside the companies and the equipment life cycle will become able to be managed in an integrated manner.”

■Challenges and topics of activities

We conduct verification tests by analyzing data gathered on all the equipment.  We need to collect and analyze various long-term information ranging from operation data for equipment to information about the degradation of consumables, the vibrations and the external appearance of facilities (such as stains).  And it is impossible to gather a sufficient amount of data in a limited period of time.  One of the difficulties that we are facing in conducting verification tests is how to compensate for the lack of information.  In addition to those efforts, as part of the working group activity, we are also considering “visualization” methods and means to show the results of data analysis in a way that everyone can understand the findings easily.

■Further activities (and PoC) and requests for support

As for future plans, we are also to conduct verification tests at plants that will be subject to improvement so that we can assess the equipment life span.  At least during this fiscal year ending in March 2016 (fiscal 2015), we have to carry out investigations under limited conditions based on data gathered in a limited period of time.  The more data for verification tests we have, the more accurately we can evaluate the equipment life span.  So we are now engaged in a wide range of efforts so that companies that have such information (or firms that can gather those data) will join and support our activities.

If the equipment life cycle can be monitored in real time, the following three advantages can be obtained: “the life of facilities can be prolonged”; “the life span of production processes can be assessed”; and “equipment costs compared with the life of facilities can be estimated.”  Those advantages would significantly help reduce the downtime to zero and slash product costs arising from equipment-related matters.



IVI discussion

Interviewer: Keiichiro Nabeno

Selection of products and services to support infrastructure facilities

The IVI has Selected wide range of products and services in the following four categories so that we can conduct verification tests without relying on the platforms.  The four categories are as follows: the Internet of Things (IoT); tools used on production sites (to retrieve data); communications services (to transmit data); cloud management (to relay data); and data conversion tools (to convert data).

Twenty-six products and services have been selected from among more than 40 applications we received.

The adopted products and services will be used for verification tests of the working groups and on other occasions.

(1)the Internet of Things (IoT) tools used on production sites (to retrieve data)

No.Product, serviceProviding company
1The smart camera SC+AICT I-Cube Technology co.,ltd.
2Wireless Data Acquisition System WDPATLITE
3 DataHub(iBRESS)Puerto Co., Ltd.
4RT-TraceableControllerMicronet Company
6 ExcelMonitorPuerto Co., Ltd.
7 Marimba M3 / ESP Dragon FIM/Wireless current sensorCiMX Co. Ltd./Avenir, Inc./Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc.
9 FacteyeComputer Engineering & Consulting, Ltd.

(2)communications services (to transmit data)

NoProduct, serviceProviding company
3DeviceXPlorer OPC Server
DeviceXPlorer Data Logger

(3)cloud management (to relay data)

NoProduct, serviceProviding company
2Logistics Visualization SystemToshiba Logistics Corporation
3 IFS for MESNEC Corporation
4 NEC Cloud IaaS for Industrial IoTNEC Corporation
5 kintoneCybozu, Inc.

(4)data conversion tools (to convert data)

NoProduct, serviceProviding company
4 ContexerApstoWeb Ltd.
5 MCFrame PLM / EM-BridgeToyo Business Engineering Corporation. (B-EN-G)
6DataSpider ServistaAPPRESSO K.K
7PLM Solution “Obbligato for SaaS”NEC Corporation
8 FTCP Remote DesktopFujitsu Limited

The IVI public symposium 2016 – Spring -Open the future of Japan’s manufacturing industry

It is important to us to report on the findings of verification tests and the activities of our 20 business scenario working groups, as well as other efforts that we made over the six or so months.  For that purpose,

“The IVI public symposium 2016 – Spring - Open the future of Japan’s manufacturing industry”

will be held on March 10th at the TORANOMON HILLS(Tokyo).

It is an open event – also non-IVI members are welcome to attend the symposium.

We recommend you do not miss this great opportunity.  We look forward to seeing you at the symposium!  And if you can’t come, you still can find some information on this website after the event.

Robot revolution International Symposium in Tokyo

IVI President Yasuyuki Nishioka participated in a panel discussion in at the Robot revolution International Symposium held by the Robot Revolution Initiative in Japan on Feb 15.

International Symposium held by the Robot Revolution Initiative in Japan on Feb 15.

He was moderator of the panel discussion about“Collaboration for Manufacturing Business Reformation by IoT”. At the panel discussion, Mr Kiyoshi Mizukami, Robot Revolution Initiative C0-Chief, Mr Masayuki Yamamoto, Robot Revolution Initiative C0-Chief, Mr Kazunori Iwasa, Member of Industrial Internet Consortium, Mr. Jeff G Fedders, Director Industrial Internet Consortium, Mr. Henning Banthien, Secretary General Plattform Industrie 4.0, and Mr. Heinrich Munz, Deputy Chairman of the Working Group 1 of the Plattform Industrie 4.0.

It was expressed that they would be able to work together in the field of IoT manufacturing industry   looking to the future.


Mr Kiyoshi Mizukami (The Robot revolution Initiative C0-Chief, Hitachi, Ltd.),Prof Nishioka (IVI), Mr. Jeff G Fedders(Director of Industrial Internet Consortium),Mr. Henning Banthien(Secretary General Plattform Industrie 4.0),Mr Kazunori Iwasa(Member of Industrial Internet Consortium,Fujitsu Limited), Mr. Heinrich Munz(Lead Architect Industry 4.0, KUKA),Mr Masayuki Yamamoto(The Robot revolution Initiative C0-Chief , Mitsubishi Electric Corporation)

Hatsuko Kouroku


From the Editors

From now, on, we will publish this IVI newsletter regularily also in English, in response to an increasing interest of an international audience.

We hope to serve your interest with this newsletter.

【IVI Publication Committee】
IVI Newsletter Editor’s Group