In the previous discussion
, the pitfalls of traditional monitoring methods were brought to light, identifying the challenges present with most data collection tools today. The key to remember is that an effective device management solution not only monitors its own brand devices, but also other vendors’ devices; the software tool should be extensible – meaning, the solution is adaptable and can monitor heterogeneous devices that are connected to the manufacturer’s very own Industrial internet of Things (IIoT).
Not Your Traditional Monitoring Tool
The growing population of incompatible IIoT devices is a reality that all manufacturers must face moving forward. In an effort to address the issue and help organizational leaders successfully attack the challenge presented in their factories today, Yaskawa has developed a new monitoring solution: Yaskawa Cockpit
Yaskawa’s latest tool for visualizing the status, health and performance of connected devices – especially Yaskawa Motoman robots – Yaskawa Cockpit offers a single point of consolidation to manufacturers that allows the complete visualization of company operations.
The Yaskawa Cockpit Difference
For a long time, robot controllers have collected data from the operation of connected robots, but it was next to impossible to access the data acquired. And, consequently, when this data was available, the only method for viewing it was limited to the programming pendant. With Yaskawa Cockpit, users are presented with easily understood dashboards and status screens that clearly convey device status through color coded graphics.
With this complete management view, the main dashboard (Figure 1) easily indicates which robots or devices may be having issues: red items specify that something is out of range, and blue items confirm that everything is normal. If a user desires to learn more, all he or she has to do is simply click on a status item, which will display the next level of status information for that particular robot or device (Figure 2).
Here, users can instantly see the current and historical performance characteristics of a robot or device to help determine its operational efficiency. Operating rate percentages detail efficiency, while production volume tracks completed parts, cycles, welds, etc.
Another key aspect of Yaskawa Cockpit is the Maintenance sub-system. This concise display helps visualize the overall health of an operational system, and it is easy to determine (Figure 3) when it is time to perform preventive maintenance tasks or replace typical wear items. This allows for planned downtime, eliminating unexpected production shutdowns, saving time and money.
Critical components of any robot system are the speed reducers. Yaskawa Cockpit tracks the torque values of all robot axes, displaying actual measurements and variations. This information is then used to calculate and display the remaining life span of the speed reducer, providing another key piece of information for planning preventive maintenance functions.
In addition to the visualization tools described here, Yaskawa Cockpit provides the capability to monitor, track and alert personnel when alarms occur, bringing immediate attention to potentially critical issues. Finally, this complete solution provides additional functions for maintaining the integrity and robustness of the system itself, through performance and resource monitoring, as well as data backups for the robot controllers.
Extensible to Meet Organizational Needs:
Yaskawa Cockpit is not just about robot and device monitoring, however. In the next device management installment, the various ways this solution can be extended throughout an enterprise to meet various operational needs will be discussed. These concepts include sharing of data throughout the extended enterprise (OPC-UA) and Add-on Functions that allow Yaskawa Cockpit to monitor any device within an organization’s connected factory.
Keith Vozel is a Product Manager, Software at Yaskawa America, Inc. - Motoman Robotics Division