With the Yaskawa Cockpit Yaskawa has developed a central software platform for networked production environments. The standard OPC UA interface is one of the company’s focal points.
Yaskawa Cockpit is an innovative Industry 4.0 software that integrates robots and other factory level assets into a complete systems management and visualisation solution. Yaskawa Cockpit provides insight into device information and production rates, identifies appropriate preventive maintenance, predicts the life span of components, and automatically distributes system alarms to the appropriate personnel, leading to improved system uptime and reduced cost of ownership.
Relevant process and system data from networked production systems are collected and analysed in real time in a scalable database, or prepared for external further processing. The procedure is visualised directly and comprehensibly in the software platform.
Intelligent use of data
In addition to visualisation functions, the current status of each machine can be mapped in real time in the Yaskawa Cockpit and correlated with other data sources, e.g. for planned production volume.
“The data can be easily forwarded to existing ERP, MES, Big Data or AI environments in accordance with the most stringent safety standards as a basis for making sound decisions. Simultaneously, data can be restored to the system for optimisation,” explained Bruno J. Schnekenburger, CEO Robotics Division of Yaskawa Europe.
The functionalities of the Yaskawa Cockpit can be experienced in practice, both in the interplay of robotics live cells and with Yaskawa drive and control technology. For example, the software platform detects and reports a blocked air filter without the installation of additional sensors, solely by monitoring the current flow.
Uniform communication standard
“For the networking of components and structures with the software we consciously opted for OPC UA,” says Andreas Waibel, Chief Developer of the Robotics Division of Yaskawa Europa GmbH.
“After all, there must be a reason that this communication standard is preferred by VDMA for the implementation of machine-to-machine communication (M2M) and other Industry 4.0-specific applications.”
OPC UA stands for Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture, an architecture that enables platform and manufacturer independent communication via various levels of the automation pyramid, thereby breaking down the strictly hierarchical dataflow. The VDMA working group Robotics + Automation is dedicated to the realisation of this vision. One result of this inter-company development initiative is an OPC UA demonstrator that underlines the potential of the standard in the practical application.
The Yaskawa Cockpit is a key element of the Industry 4.0 “i³-Mechatronics” solution. Here Yaskawa has combined classical mechatronics, information and communications technology with digital solutions such as artificial intelligence, Big Data and the Internet of Things. “i3” stands for integrated – intelligent – innovative.
For more information contact Yaskawa Southern Africa on TEL: 011 608 3182 or visit www.yaskawa.za.com