HARTING K.K. gave a demonstration of MICA®’s capabilities by linking it with a Computer Numerical Control machine (CNC) from FANUC Corporation at the machine tool exhibition JIMTOF (Japan International Machine Tool Fair) held in Tokyo in November 2018. MICA® managed the interfaces of IO-Link and USB serial devices to establish a data link with CNC. By using the sensor network IO-Link specified by the international standard IEC61131-9, the minicomputer easily linked various sensors with CNC and enabled them to obtain vital IoT information.
Furthermore, as MICA® is equipped with a USB port, it’s very simple to connect useful functions like USB sensors, GPS and an IC card reader. With FANUC Picture, users can now display data and control various sensors connected with MICA® on the extended management function screen within CNC. FANUC Picture is a software package designed to create a monitoring and operation screen easily without the need for programming with languages, such as C.
Following German Industrie 4.0, manufacturers in Japan are moving towards the implementation of ‘Smart Factories’ in order to improve productivity and efficiency. Taking the initiative in this area, FANUC, the world's leading supplier of robotics and factory automation, set up as early as 2016 a FIELD system (FANUC Intelligent Edge Link & Drive system), an open platform which enables smart manufacturing by connecting various devices on the shop floor to handle and utilize big data collected from them in an intelligent way. FIELD system is an open platform that connects not only CNCs and robots, but also peripheral devices and sensors to deliver analytics that optimize manufacturing production. Partner programs are available, which give access to open technical resources related to the FIELD system, such as manuals and specifications as well as providing software development kits for application/converter development. HARTING joined the FIELD system as device partner at an early stage.
The challenge facing IoT at manufacturing sites is how to obtain data from old machines and link them with new devices. At the JIMTOF demonstration with FANUC CNC, HARTING has integrated the MICA® with IO-Link master functions, a USB port, an Ethernet port and a port for serial communication with legacy devices. The sensor gateway can therefore be seamlessly connected with IO-Link sensors or devices, legacy machines and new machines. IO-Link allows you to obtain not only process data such as measured values from sensors but also device identification information and fault information on device and connection. As MICA® can collect, process, and analyze data from various devices, it is an effective solution for IoT at manufacturing sites.
The robust MICA® industry computer comes with IP67 protection and resistance against vibration, as well as a handy compact design, which enables installation even directly to machines. Focused on the open platform concept, the product adopts virtualization with a Linux container for OS, making internal container software development open to the public. Third vendors for software development can easily install the latest IoT features using open source software, Node-RED and MQTT to create an individual application container.
HARTING has been a long-term supplier for FANUC, providing Han® connectors and other connectivity devices for their products, including robots. HARTING will further develop this partnership in the future across the area of IoT.