Issue: May 2017


Comau leads the digital transformation in the industrial world together with Microsoft and ICONICS



by Jon Knox

On the occasion of Hannover Messe 2017, the international event dedicated to the industrial world taking place from 24th to 28th April in Germany, Comau - company member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group and worldwide leader in industrial automation - shows, in Microsoft exhibition area,  innovative solutions, output of the new collaboration with Microsoft and ICONICS, developed to improve the production process of companies in any industrial sector and geographic locations, in terms of efficiency and Total Cost of Ownership. Leveraging real-time data and operational insights gathered from equipment, products, people, and the factory environment, Comau allows manufacturing companies not only to increase machine efficiency and to reduce maintenance operations, but also to improve the operator’s performances and ability to shape the potential of new digital technologies to meet the objectives of increasing the production efficiency. Within what represents and international showcase of excellence, the Italian proposition of Comau stands out: with its over 40 years of factory-proven experience and an international network of 34 locations, 15 manufacturing plants and 5 innovation centers that span 17 countries, it teams up with Microsoft and ICONICS to enrich its Digital Solutions Portfolio to benefit companies all over the world.

 

The project  Comau DiWo (Digital Workplace) is supported by the cloud platform Microsoft Azure and by the solution for the Internet of Things Azure IoT Suite, as well as by the operating system Windows 10, which allow to leverage safely data generated from the plant. When paired with Windows 10 universal apps and Mixed Reality solutions, it can minimize operational downtime, increase operational efficiencies, and more quickly pinpoint the location of faults in equipment, which improves team collaboration and cooperation. With Microsoft HoloLens, Comau is for instance able to control Comau Racer 3 robot that handles components of different nature in the several manufacturing environments and it can already remotely monitor factory machines, giving manufacturers a new way to interact with data via natural gestures and hands-free operation. The Machine Learning features and Openness – guaranteed first of all by the support of the machine-to-machine communication standard OPC-UA - allow to integrate production- related data with other internal/external data sources to gain business insights and getting more value along all the extended supply chain. Moreover users can access the Comau DiWo solution towards any device, machine, sensor, robot and any other kind of appliance/tool used in the factory.

 

“Our strategy, aiming at making industrial automation more and more open and easy-to-use, is based on innovative solutions such as DiWo, Comau’s R&D program focused on Industrial IoT. In this area, the collaboration and above all the synergy deriving from the common know-how of three leading companies, highlighted in the well-known Hannover Messe showcase through a jointly developed application, help us in the development path of software infrastructures for the Factory 4.0, by allowing to leverage them straight in the industrial plants, while totally respecting key criteria such as security, speed and user-friendliness”, Massimo Ippolito, Innovation Manager at Comau, claims.

 

“Mixed Reality, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are redefining the industrial world and Microsoft means to be the enabler of the success of companies willing to reimagine their business in a more efficient, sustainable and safe way, thanks to new technologies. IDC estimates that the intelligent factory is already a reality and 40% of operational processes will be self-healing and self-learning by 2022: through Microsoft technology, we are helping Italian companies to seize the huge opportunities deriving from this revolution”, Tiziana Olivieri, Enterprise & Partners Lead at Microsoft Italy, comments.

 

“We are enthusiastic about collaborating with a leader such as Comau to offer intelligent solutions able to lead the digital transformation path of Italian industrial realities: thanks to the project with Comau, we are sure we can empower more and more companies to leverage useful insights from inside and outside the plant, by guaranteeing security, flexibility and openness in the meanwhile”, Fabio Moioli, Enterprise Services Lead at Microsoft Italy, adds.

 

“ICONICS is proud to partner with Comau and Microsoft on this exciting use case for connected operations using Microsoft HoloLens and Azure IoT technology,” says Russ Agrusa, President and CEO of ICONICS. “With ICONICS’ Holographic Machine Interface, users can now quickly view needed real-time and predictive maintenance information through intuitive, hands-free operation and natural gestures. These mixed reality abilities expand our solutions, enabling ICONICS to make the invisible visible for customers and partners worldwide.”

 

EXHIBITION DEMOS

 

  • At Hannover Messe, Comau demoes a solution focused on business intelligence, remote controlling and operation monitoring, as well as on customer services integration. Leveraging different scenarios where a robot will have anomalies, the demo shows how, thanks to Microsoft platforms Azure IoT Suite and Dynamics 365, the solution is able to elaborate data, create an immediate alert and identify the corrective actions needed as well as competences required to fix it, closing the flow by scheduling a call to the right resource. This flow simplifies anomalies detection and increases on site repair effectiveness. In addition to that, leveraging Microsoft Power BI analysis capabilities you can get any insight you need from the different kind of real time dashboarding for different roles, with the details and on the device you prefer.

 

  • At the trade show – within Microsoft exhibition area - Comau also shows how every customer can get, through the portal, a Knowledge Base Diagnosis, and open a chat with a back office agent who will remote control the machine to fix anomaly.

 

  • At the booth, Comau demonstrates in the end the ability to control a Comau Racer 3 robot using ICONICS Holographic Machine Interface technology to make the invisible visible: Comau’s technicians are also using the mixed reality of Microsoft HoloLens to remotely monitor factory machines, giving manufacturers a new way to interact with data on the factory floor via natural gestures and hands-free operation. Workers will now be able to interact with 2D and 3D holograms superimposed over their real-world production environment for enhanced insight into their operations. This enables use cases around remote monitoring, asset management and predictive maintenance.

 

Comau

Comau, a member of the FCA Group, is a worldwide leader in delivering advanced industrial automation solutions that integrate products, technologies and services to help companies of all sizes increase plant efficiency while lowering operating costs and optimizing returns. Headquartered in Turin, Italy, Comau has over 40 years of factory-proven experience, and an international network of 34 locations, 15 manufacturing plants and 5 innovation centers that span 17 countries and employ more than 9,000 people. With a strong focus on innovation, Comau is committed to developing competency through the formation of individuals and groups as part of its open automation approach. Comau is driving the future of production automation by engineering lean and sustainable solutions and products. Its modular, flexible and highly-configurable products can be tailored to meet the needs of each individual customer. Through the continuous development of products and services, Comau is able to lead the automation industry in every phase of a project - from design, implementation and installation, to production start-up and maintenance services. Its comprehensive offering includes manufacturing and assembly solutions, powertrain machining, robotics and asset maintenance services for a wide range of industrial sectors.

http://www.comau.com

 

ICONICS

With over 350,000 installations in over 80 countries worldwide, ICONICS software is recommended for automating, monitoring and optimizing a customer’s most critical assets and has been selected by over 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies. ICONICS is a recent Microsoft CityNext and Sustainability Partner of the Year, continuing its decades-long working relationship as a managed Microsoft ISV partner.



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