Fujitsu today announced its "Engineering Cloud" concept, a next-generation manufacturing environment offered in the form of cloud-based services from Fujitsu"s datacenters. The Engineering Cloud will support the manufacturing sector with a combination of Fujitsu"s own engineering-support software—CAD(1) and analytic software, as well as parts database software—with a suite of new services to transform the manufacturing process. These will be steadily rolled out beginning in October 2011.
Fujitsu"s Engineering Cloud uses some of the world"s most advanced high-speed image compression technology, known as RVEC(2), which was developed by Fujitsu Laboratories Limited and successfully commercialized by Fujitsu Advanced Technologies Limited. RVEC makes it possible to efficiently consolidate applications and high-volume data formats, such as design data, on a cloud platform.
The Engineering Cloud will provide customers access to these services anywhere and anytime, without PC environment concerns, and without necessitating any special set-up beforehand. This promises to greatly reduce manufacturing costs and development times.
For customers that have global development and manufacturing operations, the ability to share data without being limited by time or place will help their various locations collaborate more closely. Building on the PLM Solution(3) already provided to its customers in the manufacturing sector, Fujitsu sees its new Engineering Cloud as a way to contribute to making more creative development and manufacturing spaces that generate new value.
Engineering-support software, including CAD, analytic software and parts database software, is already widely used in the manufacturing sector. Costs and effort required to set up a proprietary development environment, however, have proved a high hurdle that discourages many potential customers from taking the first step. And with the vast quantities of data that the software needs to handle, customers need to secure advanced computer hardware and other ICT resources, making it even more of a challenge to ensure the smooth sharing of data between locations around the world.
Fujitsu is introducing the Engineering Cloud as a way to address these issues, and beginning in October 2011, the company will start to roll out these services.
The Engineering Cloud comprises two services. One is the Engineering Cloud/SaaS, which provides customers in the manufacturing sector with a variety of solutions as part of a product-development environment. The second is the Engineering Cloud/PaaS, which provides a high-speed thin client environment(4).
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Fujitsu will provide its existing CAD, analytic, PDM, and other applications through a SaaS model. In addition, Fujitsu will provide Fujitsu Manufacturing Innovation Services, which integrate into a cloud platform the product development methods and expertise the Fujitsu Group uses on the front lines of its own operations. Being entirely cloud-based, this service will enable design reviews at remote sites, telecommuting, and other new working styles and business approaches. That, plus the ability to analyze all the accumulated data in the cloud, makes this a service that can generate new value for the customer.
Fujitsu provides a high-speed thin-client environment that supports next-generation manufacturing. Applications customized for the demands of each business can be served from a cloud platform or run on-premises.
The cloud platform makes even 3D CAD operations run smoothly, thanks to RVEC high-speed image compression. The heavy-duty processing that once called for dedicated workstations can now be handled by a notebook computer or even a smartphone.
Server consolidation and license consolidation both reduce costs, and by using applications based on Fujitsu"s know-how and by optimizing development methods, customers can shorten development cycles.
This service obviously makes it possible to share data, but more than that, it lets geographically disperse members of a development team teleconference and share screens, allowing closer collaboration.
The RVEC high-speed image compression used in the Engineering Cloud was developed by Fujitsu Laboratories and commercialized by Fujitsu Advanced Technologies. This technology slashes the time required to transmit moving pictures and high-resolution still pictures when using a virtual desktop to roughly one-tenth that of existing technologies(5), improving responsiveness for people using client terminals. This makes it possible to access the virtual desktop even from a smartphone or other mobile device, bringing graphic processing such as CAD to a wider range of devices.
JTEKT Corporation is an automotive parts maker with a totally unique machine tool business. By combining Fujitsu"s technology in the information device field where high reliability is essential, both companies collaborated to begin the design and development of new electronic parts.
JTEKT"s steering systems, driveline components and bearing products contribute to improved automobile fuel efficiency throughout the world. However, these products are increasingly electrically powered, with this trend also becoming more prevalent in emerging markets. In particular, not only is the severity of usage conditions an issue, but the market demands solutions to the highly technical problems of low-cost and lightweight product development. This meant that JTEKT needed detailed design and production processes that resulted in far greater reliability that that possessed by existing products. They also needed to take into consideration customer guidelines to offer product development that made sense in terms of speed, quality, features and cost. It was for this reason that the company turned to Fujitsu"s Engineering Cloud/SaaS.
This service leverages the same design, analytic expertise and procurement database that Fujitsu employs at its own development sites. Moreover, JTEKT utilized Fujitsu"s reliability and knowhow in integrated design of electronics and devices, and by bringing together the technical capabilities of both companies on a product platform it successfully united proprietary design analysis tools with a highly reliable parts database.
The result was that for their electronic control devices, JTEKT was able to procure quality-assured electrical parts in minimum units. They also integrated electronic and mechanical functions while achieving designs based on production line data.
JTEKT has used this technology to realize extremely compact, highly reliable and high-efficiency products as a single unit that suits current market needs. More than just the automotive products that they produce, JTEKT aims to spread this technology throughout industry. Improving the functions of electric vehicles is a matter of course, but JTEKT also has an objective of contributing to a next-generation energy-based society and is therefore now promoting this technology with a view to its utilization for highly functional product development.
10 billion yen over three years
Remote Virtual Environment Computing. A technology for high-speed display of virtual desktops developed by Fujitsu Laboratories.
 PLM solution
PLM stands for "product lifecycle management." Fujitsu"s solution, including applications, that provides support for the entire manufacturing process, from planning, to design and development, the production front lines, sales, and support.
 High-speed thin client
A thin-client environment that implements RVEC.
 One-tenth the time
When comparing equivalent display frame rates.
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Over 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$55 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com
All other company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.
Date: 21 June, 2011
Company: Fujitsu Limited
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