Autonomation Beyond Human Ability
Maximizing on-site productivity through a new global perspective
The objective of the "Autonomation Beyond Human Ability" concept is to create manufacturing sites that rely less on human workers. This frees these workers from heavy labor so that they can feel safe to focus on creative tasks. Additionally, implementing autonomation that enables energy efficiency in these sites will allow for a new way of manufacturing that can continuously produce quality products efficiently and with less impact on the environment. We solve difficult dilemmas in balancing capital productivity with flexibility and economic rationality with environmental preservation, through three approaches: reproduction of craftsmanship and sensitivity, autonomous equipment detecting trends and production line evolution by leveraging energy control.
Reproduction of Craftsmanship and Sensitivity
Production sites with tasks that require flexibility and attention to detail tend to rely heavily on manual labor. At these sites, workers may need to work long hours, perform heavy labor, or engage in dangerous tasks under harsh conditions. We replicate the craftsmanship of skilled workers by using software to finely coordinate our ILOR+S* products. This replicated craftsmanship is integrated with AI to enable autonomation of tasks requiring flexibility and dexterity that were previously reliant on human labor. (*Acronym of “Input,” “Logic,” “Output,” “Robot,” and “Safety,” describing the on-site products OMRON provides.)
Autonomous Equipment Detecting Trends
Maintaining high production efficiency and quality levels requires management and control that can detect and meticulously adjust for slight differences and changes in the behavior and conditions of the so-called “4 Ms”: man, machine, material, and methods. In the past, human sensitivity, human senses and “tricks of the trade” learned through experience were essential to such efforts. Our solutions apply our diverse sensing and equipment status monitoring technologies to enable the autonomation of tasks for which responding to 4M changes is a must. These technologies evolve machines into autonomous equipment that can consistently produce non-defective products without human intervention, by arming them with predictive control that can detect and address potential quality changes.
Production Line Evolution by Leveraging Energy Control
The manufacturing industry, like other industries, has an obligation to contribute to carbon neutrality. This has made decarbonization just as critical as production efficiency and quality improvement when implementing autonomation. FA systems that manage and control the operating conditions of production equipment and facilities must also manage and control energy consumption that causes greenhouse gas emissions. By promoting autonomation that optimally controls for efficient energy use, we deliver autonomous production lines that can respond to present-day needs by maximizing energy efficiency while also balancing productivity with quality improvement.