September 12, 2019
NTT Communications Corporation
FANUC, Fujitsu, NTT Com, Embark on Collaboration to Create "Digital Utility Cloud" for Machine Tool Industry
TOKYO, JAPAN — FANUC CORPORATION (Note 1), Fujitsu Limited (Note 2), and NTT Communications Corporation (Note 3) today announced together an agreement to jointly develop a new service to achieve their vision of a "Digital Utility Cloud." The "Digital Utility Cloud" concept aims for the acceleration of digital innovation by streamlining internal operations and improving customer service, which are often duplicated throughout the machine tool industry. To achieve this goal, the three companies will work to develop cloud services that can be adopted by any company and ultimately seek to establish the solution as a new de facto standard in the industry.
In recent years, the market environment has been rapidly changing due to the diversification of customer needs, with many companies increasingly turning to technologies including IoT and AI to enhance competitiveness through digital innovation.
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.
Fig 1. Aim of Digital Utility Cloud
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
Contributions of each company
Drawing on its expertise in the machine tool industry, 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" (Note 4), which is a solution used for edge layer.
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.
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.
The service is scheduled to launch in April 2020. The three companies will additionally promote "Digital Utility Cloud" with a view toward establishing a joint venture in the future.
*Proper nouns such as product names are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
(Note 1) Fanuc Corporation: Headquarters: Oshinomura, Yamanashi Prefecture; President and CEO: Kenji Yamaguchi.
(Note 2) Fujitsu Ltd.: Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Takahito Tokita.
(Note 3) NTT Communications Corporation: Headquarters: Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo; President and CEO: Tetsuya Shoji.
(Note 4) FIELD system: FANUC Intelligent Edge Link & Drive system.
FANUC has consistently pursued the automation of factories since 1956, when it succeeded in the development of the SERVO mechanism for the first time in the Japanese private sector.
With its three pillars consisting of the FA business, which encompasses FANUC's basic technology of NC (numerical control) and servos, the ROBOT and ROBOMACHINE businesses which apply this basic technology, and the open platform, "FIELD system," which is a manifestation of IoT, FANUC contributes to the manufacturing industry in Japan and overseas by promoting automation and efficiency in manufacturing.
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Approximately 132,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.0 trillion yen (US $36 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019. For more information, please see www.fujitsu.com.
About NTT Communications
NTT Communications solves the world's technology challenges by helping enterprises overcome complexity and risk in their ICT environments with managed IT infrastructure solutions. These solutions are backed by our worldwide infrastructure, including industry leading, global tier-1 public and private networks reaching over 190 countries/regions, and more than 450,000m2 of the world's most advanced data center facilities. Our global professional services teams provide consultation and architecture for the resiliency and security required for your business success, and our scale and global capabilities in technology world are unsurpassed. Combined with NTT Ltd., NTT Data, and NTT DOCOMO, we are NTT Group.
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