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Daifuku launches IoT control range for OEMs

Daifuku launches IoT control range for OEMs
Daifuku, the world leader in automated handling systems for auto makers, has launched a new range of IoT/M2M solutions that enables manufacturers to take their first steps into the world of Industry 4.0. Called Conprosys, the family of IoT solutions enables manufacturers to remotely monitor and control a wide variety of processes – including welding, lineside logistics, condition monitoring and even colour quality management systems. The series supports international standard OPC etiquettes and other industrial protocols that allow systems to communicate with other vendor software.

Comprising an M2M Controller series, M2M Gateway series, Cloud-based data service and a PAC series of products, Conprosys enables vehicle manufacturers to benefit from the proven quality and efficiency savings achieved by IoT adoption, without significant capital expenditure. Daifuku and Contec engineers report that most IoT/M2M installations deliver ROI (return on investment) within two years.

Ajay Kareer, business development engineer at Daifuku Europe, said: “While the IoT revolution is sweeping across Europe right now, many vehicle manufacturers are reticent about the perceived risk – and the considerable cost – of adopting Industry 4.0 processes. We have experience across the Daifuku group where Conprosys has been integrated into existing processes, at remarkably little cost – and this has achieved immediate improvements in accuracy, productivity and responsiveness.

This is a great way of retro-fitting IoT controls into existing processes, without the significant cost or risk that many associate with this leading-edge technology.”

Using the Conprosys suite of solutions, OEMs can rapidly deploy technology to deliver the following functionality:

  • Data 
  1. Data transmission – From M2M controller to cloud server 
  2. Supports OPC UA standard – Conprosys controller / OPC UA server can easily link to SCADA HMI 

  • Connectivity 
  1. Signal input and output – Conprosys supports a wide range of equipment with interfaces for analogue and digital signal input/output. 
  2. 3G / 920MHz communication – total, seamless connectivity 

  • Processing 
  1. Modbus master – Easily configure, measure and monitor data with up to 30 different communication devices 
  2. PLC master – Easily connect to a variety of PLC devices to collect and monitor data 
  3. Monitoring – Browser-based graphical interface to create custom monitoring screens 
  4. Task scripting – Conprosys uses a browser-based graphical interface for programming. Scripting language is also supported 

Specifically in the automotive field, Conprosys is already helping engineers to make improvements in the following areas:
  • Monitoring engine handler robots – using a Conprosys DAQ solution device, this approach detects signs of potential breakdown, through waveform analysis, proving a low cost efficiency improvement solution 
  • Condition monitoring of manufacturing plant – a Conprosys M2M gateway provides a vital link between existing PLCs and data collection / analysis tools. This significantly improves the quality of plant monitoring, while reducing labour cost. 
  • Preventative maintenance system for tyre manufacturing facility – With ni need ot convert the existing infrastructure, the Conprosys DAQ solution operates in conjunction with senors to provide a complete failure diagnosis system 
  • Facility monitoring system for assembly plant – In this instance, a Conprosys M2M gateway provides the link that enables engineering managers to monitor facility operations via smartphone or tablet remotely. Without the need for large-scale systems, this lowers the cost of investment required to maintain world-class plant operation. 

Kareer concludes: “We understand that automotive manufacturers are faced with the dual challenge of embracing IoT technology, while maintaining strict productivity targets at the plant. The beauty of the Conprosys route is its ease of implementation, which can be undertaken during shutdown periods. It also offers OEMs with a very low risk route into the world of Industry 4.0, which can be daunting for many.

“We take a pragmatic, practical view of IoT at Daifuku. In essence, IoT, M2M and Industry 4.0 all refer to the same thing – useable data. Ten years ago, we simply didn’t have the senor technology or processing power to do anything meaningful with the data. Now that we do have that opportunity – at an affordable cost - let’s use it!”

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