Vol.64 No.1 (2021)

At this site technical articles published at the YOKOGAWA technical report are introduced.

Yokogawa’s DX

Global DX Trend and the Role of the Manufacturing Industry in Japan

  • Jun Kamo*1

*1 CEO & Founder of CDO Club Japan

Yokogawa’s Approach to Digital Transformation (DX)

  • Yukihiro Funyu*1

*1 Vice President, DX-Platform Center, Digital Solutions Headquarters, Digital Strategy Headquarters

   Yokogawa Electric Corporation started tangible efforts to achieve digital transformation (DX) in 2018 as part of its three-year business plan “Transformation 2020 (TF2020),” which recently concluded at the end of fiscal 2020.
   Yokogawa’s DX activities are divided into two areas: Internal DX, which focuses on improving employee productivity, and External DX, which develops and provides value-added digital services to customers. To transform the experimental results of Internal DX into reliable External DX in a coordinated manner, Yokogawa took a Show Room approach. Since the optimal practices and methodologies have not yet been established, charting the course for DX requires trial-and-error.
   This paper outlines Yokogawa’s approach to DX over the past three years and its DX practices.

Yokogawa’s Initiatives for Data-driven Management

  • Takao Katou*1

*1 Strategic System Solutions Department, Global Application Data Management Center, Digital Strategy Headquarters

   Companies around the world are working on digital transformation (DX) to strengthen their competitiveness. Yokogawa is also striving to foster a data-driven culture in the company and make decisions based on actual data, not on experiences and hunches.
   Yokogawa has established a group-wide Virtual Data Analyst (VDA) program that can develop citizen data analysts. Different from data scientists with professional data analytics knowledge and skills, this kind of analyst uses the Self-service Business Intelligence (Self-BI) and Self-service Machine Learning (Self-ML) tools for data utilization. This article describes Yokogawa’s efforts to develop citizen data analysts and create a data-driven corporate culture.

Improving Customer Experience (CX) with Digital Technology

  • Shunichi Kajikawa*1

*1 DX Planning Section, DX Promotion Department, Digital Strategy Headquarters

   Amid the rapidly changing business environment, the use of digital technology has become increasingly important for companies to improve the customer experience (CX) as a key factor. Companies must make full use of digital technology in order to provide value to customers throughout the business process, from the preliminary phase of a project to aftersales service. This paper explains how Yokogawa is using its digital technology to improve CX.

A Digital Factory Approach to Data-driven Management in Factories

  • Hideki Fujiwara*1

*1 Digital Factory Section, DX Promotion Department, Digital Strategy Headquarters

   Yokogawa’s solutions and know-how play an important role in accelerating digital transformation (DX) of operational technology (OT) in the manufacturing industry. When proposing these solutions and know-how to customers, it is persuasive to be able to show that Yokogawa has actually improved productivity in its own factories using its OT operations data. This specific example will help customers to understand the effectiveness of the proposal. To achieve data-driven management with OT operation data, three requirements must be satisfied: (1) OT Data Lake, which is a framework for gathering operational data from Yokogawa’s factories worldwide into a single database and improving productivity on a global scale, (2) AI optimization and automation that use operational data and images, and (3) remote operation that ensures the continuity of business even when people’s access is restricted, for example, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yokogawa defines a factory that satisfies these three items as a Digital Factory and is working hard to make its own factories as such. Although this approach is one of Yokogawa’s Internal DX measures, the results can be used to develop know-how for External DX, which will increase value for customers, expedite DX in existing businesses, create new DX businesses, and strengthen Yokogawa’s presence in DX. This paper introduces Yokogawa’s approach to Internal DX, its roadmap, and progress toward external DX.

Yokogawa’s Approach to Cybersecurity in the IT/OT Convergence Environment

  • Tetsuo Shiozaki*1

*1 Global Infrastructure Security Center, Digital Strategy Headquarters

   Many companies hesitate to develop a security operation center (SOC) on their own due to its technical and operational difficulties. In 2019, Yokogawa started to develop a cybersecurity monitoring system for its corporate system and is now using it. For customers, Yokogawa has also been developing a security monitoring system for Internet of Things (IoT) services. This paper explains Yokogawa’s in-house development of the SOC, key technical points, and operation system, as well as the company’s approach to cybersecurity.

Digital Transformation in Process Industries

  • Joseph Ting*1

*1 Digital Customer Experience, Digital Platform Center, Yokogawa Electric International Pte. Ltd.

   Historically, manufacturers have taken a cautious and incremental approach to change in order to minimize risk and deliver mission-critical levels of availability, safety, and security. For decades, technology has made it possible to do what people already do, but more economically and efficiently.
   Today, the digital revolution is making it possible to fundamentally rearrange industries, companies, departments, and societies. Operations and manufacturing must improve flexibility and agility while maximizing return on investment (ROI) in order to ensure sustainable profitability. Increasingly, companies look to digital transformation (DX) to accomplish these.
   This paper explains how process industries are thinking about digital transformation, how it relates to business models and strategies, and what the macro enablers are. It also describes the convergence of information technology and operational technology and the impact on the industrial automation (IA) technology stack (making IA smarter). Where to digitalize operations and manufacturing (value map) is explained, along with the roles of leadership and organizational change management, and practical steps toward DX.
   A successful transformation rests on IT and OT convergence combining a structured approach, willing leadership, and partnering with experts who understand the business process, technology, and organizational needs.

Yokogawa Cloud Architecture for Smart Manufacturing

  • M K Naveen Kashyap*1

*1 Digital Innovation & Services, Digital Platform Center, Yokogawa Electric International Pte. Ltd.

   Digital transformation (DX) is the application of digital technologies and the power of information to an organization’s people, processes, and systems with the aim of radically reorienting its business performance. Smart manufacturing is a form of DX applied to the manufacturing side of an enterprise. The goal of many smart manufacturing initiatives is the realization of autonomous operations. Key among factors that define the success of DX and smart manufacturing is digital enterprise architecture, which captures the tech stack and its interplay with existing systems and business processes.
   DX architecture captures the entire value creation process, from data capture to value delivery, by way of various software applications and augmented offerings. This paper describes the essence of Yokogawa’s DX architecture in terms of six layers, starting from the “plant floor,” which combines existing production assets and associated IT assets. The topmost layer comprises augmented offerings that allow services such as consulting, engineering, system integration, and support to convey the created value to the customer. The four layers in between—edge, computing infrastructure, platform, and applications—represent the key technological elements that make DX a potential reality.

Supply Chain Digital Transformation for Profitability and Sustainable Operations: Industry Needs and Recent Achievements

  • Mike Aylott*1

*1 Chief Technology Officer, KBC (A Yokogawa Company)

   Hydrocarbon processing industries face many pressures in maintaining their social licenses to operate in affordable and ultimately profitable ways. Climate change and the coming energy transition will lead to a world of rapidly changing supply and demand patterns that will cause difficulties for organizations trying to adapt to the changing world order. This paper examines how digital technologies can build on current operations planning, scheduling, and control practices to help organizations meet these demands. This paper goes beyond conventional digitization and procedural automation to look at the bigger picture, using examples drawn from KBC’s history of yield- and energy-based profit improvement, translated through Yokogawa’s digital technologies to our fast-moving world of continuous change and improvement. It explains our current activities and how we are using data sciences to build on our first-principles, physics-based modeling tradition.

AI in the Process Industry

  • Hiroaki Kanokogi*1

*1 Control Center, Yokogawa Products Headquarters

   When applying AI to difficult problems in plants, approaches differ depending on whether AI researchers can access useful information derived from similar problems. This article first discusses how to search and identify useful research and literature. If well-established AI research is available, the next step is simply to choose an appropriate AI platform. If not, the most serious bottleneck for the problem-solving task arises: how to integrate plant domain knowledge and AI technology. This article presents a solution to the latter case. This solution enables plant engineers to make full use of AI geared for themselves, not for data scientists. AI-based control, which is one of the promising AI applications for plants and is expected to solve difficult problems in plants, is also discussed.

The New QC1F16 Frame for the WEBFREX NV Online Thickness Gauge

  • Yuusaku Koga*1
  • Daisuke Tanifuji*2
  • Takashi Hara*3

*1 Analyzer Planning Department, Sensing Center, Yokogawa Products Headquarters
*2 Analyzer Department, Development Division, Sensing Center, Yokogawa Products Headquarters
*3 P&W Solution Sales Department, Analyzer Sales Division, Sales Center, Yokogawa Products Headquarters

   Since the release of the first online thickness gauge for sheet manufacturing processes in 1962, Yokogawa has kept developing measurement and control technologies to improve the quality and productivity of sheet products such as paper and films. The current product lineup is the B/M9000VP for paper, the WEBFREX NV for general-purpose films and sheets other than paper, and the WEBFREX3ES for battery electrode sheets. In recent years, as the power source of vehicles has shifted from fossil fuel to electricity, investment has poured into lithium-ion battery plants, where the WEBFREX3ES has been widely used. The demand for separator sheets, which are a main component of lithium-ion batteries, is also increasing particularly in overseas markets. To meet the needs of the market, Yokogawa has developed a new platform with improved maintainability, the WEBFREX NV QC1F16 (F16 frame), which conforms to regulations in various countries and is compatible with the Internet of Things (IoT). This report describes the features and technologies of the F16 frame.

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