Fujitsu aims to achieve an "interconnected Monozukuri environment (development-procurement-manufacturing-operation)" that merges information and communications technology (ICT) with the Fujitsu Production System (FJPS), which serves as the basis of Monozukuri (Japanese way of manufacturing). To this end, we are developing and enhancing technologies, tools, and operation techniques and rolling them out at in-house development and production sites under an initiative called "smart Monozukuri." In this special issue, we introduce revolutionary changes that are taking place in the world of Monozukuri and some practical examples.
Fujitsu has expanded its activities to the development department and other supporting departments in the form of the Fujitsu Production System (FJPS) since the introduction of the Toyota Production System (TPS) in the production department in 2003. These activities are firmly based on the principle of using Fujitsu's own information and communications technology (ICT). The digitization of human activities and things is progressing in parallel with advances in ICT and the Internet of Things (IoT), and the analysis and prediction of conditions in the near future using such a wide variety of data is becoming a reality. These developments point to a major transformation in the entire Monozukuri (Japanese way of manufacturing) process. Fujitsu envisions smart Monozukuri as a higher order of Monozukuri that interconnects departments and plants as well as suppliers, partners, and customers via a virtual environment. This paper describes the current state of Fujitsu's Monozukuri platform based on ICT activities that have come to support the evolution of Monozukuri and a next-generation smart Monozukuri platform.
Product development is becoming increasingly demanding in terms of design constraints on power consumption, heat generation, various noises, and durability. Strict requirements must also be met within very tight margins. Even when these requirements are individually met, much time is spent on coordinating them for overall adjustment. Thus, enterprises require a comprehensive solution that offers multiple approaches combined and executed simultaneously. For this reason, product design tools of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) have undergone continuous improvement and enhancement. However, these individual, tool-specific optimizations cannot offer a solution to today's complex design challenges. Therefore, Fujitsu has fundamentally reviewed product development methods, and sought a solution to complex design challenge by integrating all design tools, data and know-how into a single platform. This is a next-generation cloud-based development platform, "One Platform," that facilitates parallel analyses of electricity, heat, electromagnetic field and mechanical structure that strives to go beyond "connectability" to a truly "connected" state.
Fujitsu is working on developing an autonomous robot system in order to realize Monozukuri (Japanese way of manufacturing) that can adapt itself quickly and flexibly to changes in manufacturing products and in production requirements, such as variation of parts and aged deterioration of equipment. The deployment of robots on production lines requires programming by expert engineers, and the robots need to be taught the supply position and assembly position of parts beforehand. However, such a development process necessitates a significant amount of work. Meanwhile in mass production, certain changes in the production environment, such as variation of parts, often cause robots to stop. Therefore, we have developed technology that is capable of automatically generating programs that control robot motions. The technology also makes it easier to automatically convert the programs into applicable data formats, and transmit them to the robots. We are further working to develop technologies that allow robots to "sense," "think," and "act" so that we can achieve autonomous and cooperative control. By enabling flexible response to the above mentioned changes and fluctuations with these technologies, the changeovers and rearrangements of production can be minimized, thereby eliminating the barriers to robot introduction in production lines. This paper describes this autonomous robot system development, which can be applied to variable product and variable volume production for enhanced production efficiency.
Multiphysics analysis simultaneously handles multiple physical phenomena, each expressed by different dominant equations, by means of simulation. In recent years, there has been growing demand for the assembly design of electronic devices to provide increased density and capacity, and this trend has given rise to a problem-the generated heat affects their electrical and mechanical properties. In conventional assembly design, simulations are conducted separately for different development aspects before the improvements made to the design are unified. However, this has become inefficient as it is likely to result in having to repeat the design processes. Aiming to address this problem, which has electrical, thermal-fluid, structural, and other aspects, Fujitsu has developed a unique design environment for multiphysics analysis. This analysis environment has been combined with an integrated development platform, which is a design environment built into the cloud. This makes it easier to share data between electrical and structural designers, enabling them to address large-scale model analyses. In this paper, we explain the multiphysics analytical environment in terms of its features and how it provides an integrated solution by combining power integrity, thermal-fluid, and structural analyses. We also present a case study of applying it to the design of small electronic devices.
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology applied to product design in Monozukuri (Japanese way of manufacturing) aims to provide computerized support to various tasks in developing products that currently rely on human experience. As the conventional approach, in which knowledge and rules are explicitly given, has its limit, new technologies based on machine learning have been recognized as important in research and development of AI. Applying machine learning that predicts data to be acquired in the future with a certain accuracy, we can obtain efficient and less-variable judgment and eliminate conventional work depended on personal knowledge or experience. In order to apply AI technology to a product development environment, MONOZUKURI AI framework was developed on the cloud as a system to facilitate efficient collection of product development data, and, at the same time, for managing and leveraging learning models extracted from such data. By connecting this framework with Flexible Technical Computing Platform (FTCP), Fujitsu's integrated development platform, this new design development environment will provide various design tools on a platform with new, enhanced design-assisting features. This paper describes various cases in which machine learning is applied to designing, and presents our plan to introduce it into an integrated development platform.
The recent trend toward mass customization has increased the demand for multiproduct/multivolume production and driven a need for autonomous production systems that can respond quickly to changes on production lines. Production facilities using cameras and robot-based image recognition technologies must also be adaptable to changes in the image-capturing environment and product lots, so technology enabling the prompt generation and well-timed revision of image-processing programs is needed. The development of image recognition systems using machine learning techniques has been progressing with the aim of constructing such autonomous production systems. Furthermore, in addition to the need for automatic generation of image-processing programs, the development of technology for automatically and quickly detecting changes in the production environment to achieve a stable production line has also become an issue. We have developed technology for generating preprocessing programs, extracting image feature values, and optimizing learning parameters and have applied this technology to template matching widely used in image processing and to product accept/reject testing. We have also developed technology for sensing changes in the image-capturing environment by using images captured at the time of learning as reference and detecting changes in subsequent image feature values. These technologies enable the generation of various types of image-processing programs in a short period of time and the detection of signs of change in the image-capturing environment before the recognition rate drops.
Fujitsu has a history of optimizing the design process for server packaging structures and printed circuit boards to foster innovation in the quality, cost, and delivery (QCD) of equipment development. Enhanced and efficient desktop verification and information and communications technology (ICT) application are essential for reducing person-hours in equipment development. To this end, Fujitsu has been applying computer-aided design (CAD) tools capable of handling actual 3D shapes plus simulation-based analysis in upstream design and development to facilitate desktop verification covering equipment design, assembly, and inspection in mass production and maintenance in the field. This paper describes Fujitsu's current efforts in enhancing desktop design verification by consolidating 3D CAD data for electrical and structural systems, which enables the design and production departments to share manufacturing information by embedding it in 3D CAD data, and by applying 3D CAD data in upstream design to design verification and analysis. It also describes the effects of these initiatives and discusses Fujitsu's future plans for further reforms in equipment development.
Fujitsu strives to offer "smart Monozukuri" services that help to achieve efficient quality and product management applying information and communications technology (ICT) to Monozukuri (Japanese way of manufacturing). One of the systems being developed as part of this is Monozukuri Navigation System, based on technology to realize virtualization/integration at manufacturing sites. The system allows the users to fully leverage sensing technology, analytical tools, artificial intelligence (AI), and other ICT from the upstream of product development, helping them to utilize all production-related data, and it offers solutions that best suit the requirements for a particular production site. It is important for manufacturing practice to incorporate data regarding design assets, experience amount and capabilities of the production site, and operational status of the production facilities, as required, at the development and manufacturing sites and to develop the product to achieve an appropriate quality level. We focus on developing a system that reviews in-house practices and creates data relating to the conditions specific to the production site. The system analyzes them and provides a basis for models that predict manufacturing status, which are then used to optimize the site's manufacturing conditions. This paper outlines Monozukuri Navigation System, and explains its features. The paper also presents the real-time navigation, which is designed to prompt people to make the best plans based on comparisons between actual and predicted operational statuses.
Shimane Fujitsu Limited is the largest production site in the Fujitsu Group for ubiquitous client devices such as laptop PCs (LIFEBOOK Series) and tablets (ARROWS Tab Series). It has made Monozukuri (Japanese way of manufacturing) smart by combining production engineering and information and communications technology (ICT) including the Internet of Things (IoT). Thus, the site is capable of single-unit-based customization in production. With Fujitsu Production System (FJPS), based on the Toyota Production System (TPS), at the core, we at Shimane Fujitsu pursue our unique Monozukuri innovation activities. They facilitate significant enhancements in quality, cost, and delivery (QCD), through a system of design assistance using simulation technology, robot-based automation, and ICT, in addition to the ongoing field-centric efforts for making improvements in production lines. These results have been recognized, and this initiative won the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) award in the 6th Monozukuri Nippon Grand Award. This paper presents Shimane Fujitsu's Monozukuri innovation activities in terms of human-machine harmonized production, product and factory simulation, and ICT deployment in production lines.