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New YASKAWA Cockpit software platform - Industrie 4.0 in real time

15. June 2018

With the YASKAWA Cockpit Yaskawa has developed a new, central software platform for networked production environments. The standard OPC UA interface is one of the company’s focal points.

With the YASKAWA Cockpit, Yaskawa has developed a new, central software platform for networked production environments. The standard OPC UA interface is one of the company’s focal points. / Mit dem YASKAWA Cockpit entwickelt Yaskawa eine neue, zentrale Software-Plattform für vernetzte Produktionsumgebungen. Das Unternehmen setzt dabei unter anderem auf die Standard-Schnittstelle OPC UA.(Source/Quelle: YASKAWA)

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 visualized directly and comprehensibly in the software platform.


Intelligent use of data

In addition to visualization 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 optimization,” Bruno J. Schnekenburger, CEO Robotics Division of Yaskawa Europe, lists further benefits for the industrial user.

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 Industrie 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 realization 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. With this demonstrator the collaborative Motoman HC10 robot hands guests a fidget spinner mounted in the machine.


“i³-Mechatronics” solution

The YASKAWA Cockpit is a key element of the Industrie 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.

This integrative approach embraces the latest newly developed Motoman robot together with products and solutions from drive and control technology and specially developed software solutions. In addition to live application solutions from drive and control technology, at Yaskawa an emphasis is being placed on new robot models and the themes collaborative robotics and artificial intelligence.


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