Fujitsu has started verifying an IoT-based visualisation system in Intel’s factory in Penang, Malaysia.

Fujitsu started collaborating with Intel to build IoT solutions two years ago. The first phase saw the two companies launch a field trial with Shimane Fujitsu, aimed at increasing efficiency by providing visibility into the manufacturing process at Intel’s factory. The trials cut shipping costs by 30%.

Now, as part of the second phase, Fujitsu begins verification of a system in Intel’s Penang factory using IoT to provide visibility into the factory’s overall status, including the operational status of semiconductor production lines and energy usage.

The system, dubbed the Intelligent Dashboard, can visually capture the operational status of semiconductor production lines and environmental data such as power and water usage, according to Fujitsu. It links the Fujitsu Business Application Intelligent Dashboard, an analysis and visualisation tool that supports factory-wide optimisation, with the Intel-based IoT gateway and the Fujitsu Cloud Service K5 IoT platform, a cloud-based IoT data utilisation platform service.

Environmental data visualisation

Previously, at the Penang factory, environmental data inside the factory was collected monthly. However, management could not get a timely grasp on that data, which led to challenges in applying data to enhance factory-wide efficiency. By implementing the IoT-based visualisation system, data such as energy usage can be checked daily, enabling the implementation of timely policies to improve factory operations, according to Fujitsu.

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Figure 1: IoT-based visualisation system (Source: Fujitsu)

Likewise, operational data for each piece of manufacturing equipment in the semiconductor production lines was previously collected, aggregated and used on a case-by-case basis, such as in determining the cause of problems with manufacturing equipment. However, because management could not check the operational status of the production lines in real time, there were difficulties in connecting that data to improvements in productivity and efficiency. Implementing the new system enables a real-time view of the operational status of equipment throughout the factory, according to Fujitsu.

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Figure 2: Diagram of the newly implemented system (Source: Fujitsu)

Fujitsu plans to offer the factory optimisation solution starting May 2017, with a goal of ¥10 billion ($85.63 million) in revenue over the next three years.