Smart Factory with IoT: igus develops smart plastics app for Fanuc FIELD system

Published on: 16th September 2019

New igus app for Fanuc IoT platform makes it possible to monitor machine components

Integration of igus smart plastics into the Fanuc FIELD system: icom.plus collects the data from the isense sensors and transfers them to the FIELD system via a converter. Using the igus app, the maintenance engineer can monitor the condition of components such as energy chains. (Source: igus GmbH)

In order to be able to evaluate data from machines and systems centrally, Fanuc is now presenting its new open industrial IoT platform called “FIELD system”. The system can connect production machines of all manufacturers by means of a local network topology, enabling comprehensive data analysis of the entire process chain. In this infrastructure, apps from Fanuc and also from third-party suppliers are used. Now, igus has developed a smart plastics app for the new system. The app can be used by maintenance personnel to monitor the condition of their igus components, for example, energy chains and cables and plan all their maintenance work in good time.

Networking is the current buzz word where predictive maintenance and Industry 4.0 are concerned. In addition, industrial IoT platforms are used. Automation specialist Fanuc has now developed such a platform. The Fanuc Intelligent Edge Link & Drive system (abbreviated: FIELD) was presented by the company for the first time in Europe at EMO. With the FIELD system, production machines can be networked with each other. It can work “on premise” or, in future, with a Cloud link. The system collects and analyses the machine data on site. The operating data and sensor data of the machines can therefore be gathered centrally via only one server and viewed whenever necessary. Efficiency is easy to monitor, production processes can be accelerated and maintenance work can be planned. Due to the openness of the platform, all machines can be connected to the system. Apps for the system are provided by FANUC as well as by third-party suppliers. The motion plastics specialist igus has developed an app for its smart plastics and made it available to the FIELD platform. Once the igus smart plastics app has been integrated, users can monitor the condition of their energy chains and cables at any time and can also plan maintenance work well in advance. In the future, the condition of slewing rings, linear and plain bearings will also be monitored with the app.

Connection via icom.plus in a secure environment

Under the name isense, igus carries sensors of various kinds that detect the condition of igus components. They measure among other things, the wear during operation and alert the user early enough to plan repair or replacement. The icom.plus communication module provides the igus data via an integrated OPC-UA server. This data is then fed into the platform by means of the FANUC Converter. “Due to the openness of the FIELD system, the customer can now use the data and service life statements of all igus products in a protected local network environment”, explains Richard Habering, Head of the smart plastics Business Unit at igus GmbH. “The igus smart plastics app tells the maintenance technician when they should carry out the next maintenance. Unscheduled machine downtime can be avoided.” The FIELD system apps, like the igus smart plastics app, can be downloaded by the user from the FIELD system app store. Here, customers can choose their desired software solutions themselves.

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Article keywords:

App Cloud smart plastics