News - July 24, 2019

The AI adopted smart factory of grinding in 2024

The open innovation between JTEKT and AIST

JTEKT started to collaborate with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in June 2019 to research on smart factory technology that aims to improve the productivity of the plant by using AI.

At first, the collaborative team will work on “visualization” of NC grinding machine combining the sensing and information processing technologies cultivated by AIST with JTEKT’s expertise of grinding machine. The data collection method will be established by the knowledge of both sides. The collaborative team aims at the progress of automation and smart factory of grinding machining.

To realize the total optimization with the visualization

JTEKT and AIST established the collaborative research lab of smart factory in AIST Tsukuba in June 2019. A total of 20 researchers from 10 each from JTEKT and AIST participate in the project. The research theme is “smartification of processing machine and production line and research and development of their elemental technologies.”

The collaborative team defined smartification as production system for the entire factory that shortens the downtime by using the latest technologies such as AI to detect faults and defects in advance, and to minimize defective products and to save wasteful materials.

In the first stage of research, the collaborative team will establish a method to acquire information on the machining status and machine condition of the NC grinding machine. In addition, the collaborative team will work on the development of grinding machines that autonomously adjust the machining conditions. In the second stage, the collaborative team will optimize the machining of the entire plant.

It will build a system that prevents machining defects and machine failure by connecting multiple autonomous machines developed in the first stage to a network and repeating data analysis and feedback. The project team will put the first stage practical use in the 2022 fiscal year and the second stage in 2024 fiscal year.

To promote smartification of the factory

At a press conference held on April 23, 2019, Seiichi Sudo, chairman of the JTEKT (The posts are at the time of interview), said, “there is a limit to developing by ourselves as technological evolution is accelerating. We need open innovation.”

Sudo has been promoting this collaboration with Ryoji Chubachi, president from AIST since around 2018. JTEKT propose IoE (Internet of Everything) that connects everything, including people and services. Visualization of mechanical data is required in order to realize IoE.

In machine tool industry, many companies work on acquiring data. But it is difficult for them to collect the data of grinding machines, which JTEKT specialize in, compared to cutting machine tools.

“In particular, it is difficult for us to understand how worn the grinding stone is. We would like to advance the acquisition of grinding machine data in cooperation with AIST, which is good at sensing technology and digital reproduction,” Kazunori Hayashida, executive officer of JTEKT, said.

In this collaboration, JTEKT will be able to get the majority of the research results because it provide the research funds. JTEKT’s investment amount is closed. It is the first time that machine tool builder and AIST collaborate. Chubachi of AIST said, “we will use this opportunity to intensify our activity with machine builders in Japan.”

Source: SEISANZAI MARKETING Magazine June 2019 issue

This article was translated by “T-4OO”.

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