Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Intel to commercialize IoT factory automation technology in 2015

Iain Morris
October 2, 2014
Intel claims it was able to realize $9 million in savings by using IoT technologies to develop next-generation factory automation systems at its manufacturing facility in Asia.

The semiconductor giant is keen to commercialize the automation systems and begin offering these to other companies with factory operations, opening up a potential new revenue stream in the IoT area from 2015 onwards.

Intel (Santa Clara, CA, USA) has been collaborating with Mitsubishi (Tokyo, Japan) on the automation project, combining its IoT expertise with the Japanese player’s “e-F@ctory” automation capabilities to develop innovative functions allowing it to detect equipment problems at an early stage.

The pilot carried out in Malaysia led to improved equipment uptime, an increase in yield and productivity and a reduction in component failures.

During that pilot, Intel says it was able to securely gather and aggregate data for an analytics server and then process this data using open source software.

The solution led to productivity improvements by minimizing the classification of good units as bad, besides notifying Intel of maintenance issues.

Thanks to the technology, the company says it was able to cut out unnecessary expenses and improve its decision-making capabilities.

“The data mining and analytics pilots done in Malaysia have demonstrated great value and benefits for Intel manufacturing using Intel-based IoT products and technology,” said Robin Martin, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Assembly and Test Group. “Through this collaboration and pilot with Mitsubishi Electric, we will bring the know-how, assets and technology of both companies to develop next-generation factory automation systems with predictive analytic capabilities.”

“This will allow other companies to reap the benefits of the IoT for factory operations,” he added.

Intel hopes to be able to commercialize the factory automation technology in 2015, and Mitsubishi points to other benefits of the solution.

“The collaboration between Mitsubishi Electric and Intel on this IoT project has enabled field data from semiconductor manufacturing lines to be collected and analyzed to improve operational performance, yet also contribute energy savings for a more sustainable society," said Masayuki Yamamoto, group senior vice president of factory automation systems for Mitsubishi.

“We believe that other manufacturers can benefit from this joint Intel-Mitsubishi Electric solution, which combines big data analysis, optimized data capture and processing to deliver improved performance and optimized maintenance,” he added.
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