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Digital tools of the on-site workers, by on-site workers, for on-site workers (1/2)

May 10, 2021

Digital tools originated from the manufacturing site of Japanese town factories are appearing one after another. ARM, which manufactures automation equipment, has developed an artificial intelligence system that automatically generates machining programs. MATSUDA DENKI, which manufactures switch parts for automobiles, has commercialized an operation monitoring system for equipment. These two tools were born from the manufacturing site of the Japanese factory. The target market is also the manufacturing site. The first part of the article introduces ARM ‘s AI system.

The know-how of skilled workers is reproduced automatically

ARM’s “ARMCODE1” is an AI system that automatically generates machining programs from CAD data.

For example, if CAD data of three parts is imported into ARMCODE1 at the same time, ARMCODE1 generates a program for machining these parts by machining center in a few minutes.

ARMCODE1 virtually cuts the 3-D model of the drawing into round slices at 0.2 mm intervals and automatically identifies the shapes of pockets, contours, holes, etc. This AI system can not only select required tools and set up machining conditions, but also automatically create a cost estimate of machining.

ARM is an automation equipment maker founded in 2006 by Takayuki Hirayama CEO. The main customers are automobile parts makers and electronic parts makers. ARM owns OSE of a subsidiary in Akita city, Akita prefecture, and OSE is specialized in metal parts machining. OSE is good at ultra-high-mix low-volume parts machining, and handles 60,000 types per year. The amount of cutting tools used is 1000 types per year.

ARM has made a database of the machining know-how cultivated at the OSE’s manufacturing site through several years. The 3D model analysis technology was developed in collaboration with Kobe University.

Hirayama CEO gives a harsh evaluation about ARMCODE 1. He said, “We have been the halfway through. But the remained half are the potential that could be improved”.

In the coming months, ARM will build features of ARMCODE1 with several premium users, who have collaborated to develop. ARMCODE1 is scheduled to be available in September 2021. The price is 2.75 million yen including tax. The company will first sell ARMCODE1 to limited 500 companies, and will receive user feedback to improve.

Within a few years, “ARMCODE 2” for lathes and “ARMCODE 3” for grinding machines will also be developed.


The second part of this article will be uploaded on May 11th. In the second part , we will introduce MATSUDA DENKI’s   equipment operation monitoring system “Genba Vision” .


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