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Smart factory adoption goal of Japanese public/private partnership

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 IIJ and Hirata’s smart factory offering includes predictive maintenance and remote management systems, among other solutions

Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ) and Hirata Corporation have signed a partnership to implement smart factory schemes in various industries worldwide through the implementation of internet of things (IoT) technology.

IIJ’s services include Internet connectivity services, systems integration, cloud computing services, security services and mobile services. Hirata provides production systems that include everything from the production of machinery such as industrial-use robots to the design and assembly of production lines.

Through this partnership, the two Japanese companies aim to create optimized smart factories with highly efficient operations by combining their advanced technologies.

“By using IIJ’s IoT services and other technologies, and incorporating IoT sensors into Hirata’s production equipment, the companies will offer preventative measures and maintenance for equipment that predicts and detects hardware failures,” IIJ said in a release. “Data on the operations of production equipment will be aggregated and made available on the cloud. By operating and maintaining equipment on the integrated portal site that links to this data, users will be able to optimize their allocation of maintenance and inspection personnel and to reduce associated man-hours, allowing users to improve their production ratios and strengthen their cost competitiveness.”

IIJ said that the new offering will allow companies to implement preventative measures and maintenance using analytics for predicting and detecting production equipment and devices’ malfunctions; remote maintenance using unified management of settings data for production equipment and devices and remote monitoring of worldwide factories using secure global networks.

IIJ also said that this partnership aims to conduct tests in Hirata’s demonstration environment in December 2017, with the goal of launching the service during 2018.

IIJ and Hirata plan to develop the scope of their partnership to include new business developments and to expand into various other segments such as medicine and healthcare.

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