Nippon RAD and Advantech Transform Japan’s Industry 4.0 Centric Solutions


Interview with Nippon RAD

Nippon RAD is a long-established IT system integrator with a pedigree in hardware and software integration and enterprise software development. In contrast to many of its competitors, Nippon RAD is independent and has continued to position itself to meet the needs of customers through expert resource management and flexibility.

With the benefit of foresight, Nippon RAD turned its attention to the development of IoT platforms for the smart manufacturing sector and in a significant move, joined forces with Advantech to strengthen its footprint in the Japanese Industrial IoT market.

Transforming Japan’s IIoT-Centric Solutions

In order to accurately define solutions in the context of sustainability, Nippon RAD closely examined the underlying opportunities and challenges as drivers for Industry 4.0 implementation.

At first glance, it found that many of its own customers, as well as their competitors, saw significant success over the years. However, the same infrastructure that facilitated the success was quickly developing growing pains with equipment and production management systems that became inefficient, inflexible and unprofitable. Upon closer examination, analysis showed a lack of real-time connectivity between people, machines, and devices, as well as information and communication technologies for the dynamic management of the ever-increasing complexity of the business process.

The automotive industry is one of the most important sectors in Japan. In fact, Japan’s auto parts manufacturing market is said to be already mature.

However, lots of auto component manufacturers still face challenges to effectively collect and visualize machine data from production lines, especially from different machines purchased from different suppliers, each with multiple protocols. With an expanding portfolio of multi-branded production machinery acquired over a prolonged period of time, manufacturers felt unable to properly meet the challenges of increased competition and change management. With such daunting variables to consider, manufacturers viewed integration predominantly from a technical perspective, whereas the true solution required consideration for all dimensions including long-term sustainability.

One of Japan’s auto parts manufacturers recently came to Nippon RAD for an easy-to-use solution. Nippon RAD quickly solved the data collection problem by using Advantech products and solutions.

From Advantech’s Ethernet I/O module ADAM-6000 series with its Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and Graphic Condition Logic (GCL) technology used for remotely monitoring device status, to UNO-2484G edge platform that has pre-installed WebAccess/SCADA and WebAccess/ CNC software used as a key to interlinking an end-to-end Nippon RAD style IoT solution, a solution was needed where equipment performance, tools for rapid data collection, and visualization all come together. To further implement predictive maintenance, the MIC-1816 DAQ platform with WebAccess/MCM machine condition monitoring software was installed, providing easy sensor signal acquisition, signal analysis, data management, and warning alerts.

Konekti™, Nippon RAD’s End-to-End IoT platform

This application used Advantech’s solutions and products to connect with Konekti™ — Nippon RAD’s end-to-end IoT platform. This platform effectively processes and analyzes big data obtained from the plant, displays real-time information, and visualizes the results, as well as performing predictive maintenance and optimization. This helped improve equipment uptime, performance, and safety, while greatly reducing maintenance costs. The data-backed products and services revolutionizing Japan’s auto parts industry have given existing manufacturers the template to equip current production equipment for retrofitting.

The strategic alliance between Advantech and Nippon RAD, the WISE-PaaS Premier VIP partner, alleviates the risks and challenges faced by the transformation towards IoT platforms.

As one of the few industrial system integrators with the commitment to transform traditional business models to new IoT-centric solutions, Nippon RAD has officially become a co-creation partner of Advantech’s IIoT sector in Japan through an equity investment in 2018. This creates a Nippon RAD style smart factory solution that fully leverages the hardware, software, and integration expertise of the two companies. The solution has allowed them to help manufacturers upgrade to Industry 4.0 and fully leverage production efficiency.

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