Amersfoort, The Netherlands – April 7th, 2020
Yokogawa Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6841) announces the release of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled versions of the GX series panel-mount type paperless recorders, GP series portable paperless recorders, and GA10 data logging software, which are components of the highly operable and expandable SMARTDAC+™ data acquisition and control system. This new AI functionality includes the future pen, a function developed by Yokogawa that enables the drawing of predicted waveforms. Yokogawa is also releasing a new CPU module for the e-RT3™ Plus edge computing platform that is environmentally robust and Python™*1 compatible. The GX/GP and e-RT3 Plus release is set for April 8, and the GA10 software will be released on May 13. The SMARTDAC+ system is a product in the OpreX™ Data Acquisition family, and the e-RT3 Plus is part of the OpreX Control Devices family.
The introduction of AI functions such as the future pen, a first for industrial recorders*2, will help users identify and correct problems before they have a chance to cause disruptions in production operations.
(top) GA10 display (bottom left to right) e-RT3 Plus and GX/GP
There is a rising interest in the manufacturing sector in the use of AI to prevent equipment malfunctions and maximise productivity. At the same time, AI technologies have a steep learning curve, and the introduction of existing AI-enabled products and the analysis of their data is typically beyond the expertise of novices to this field.
Recorders are used in manufacturing and R&D to acquire, display, and record data on voltage, current, temperature, flow rate, pressure, and other process variables. Yokogawa is a leading manufacturer of recorders, and also holds a solid track record in the consulting industry with the use of machine learning to predict and analyse both equipment anomalies and product quality for manufacturers. To improve productivity and product quality, Yokogawa is now building user-friendly AI-related functions into its recorders, data logging software, and controllers. For example, these functions now enable GX/GP series recorders to draw waveforms on screen that are predicted based on the real-time analysis of collected data so that users can anticipate and correct problems early on, before they have a chance to escalate. Also, the e-RT3 Plus edge computing platform has been enhanced with the addition of support for Python, a programming language that is widely used in AI R&D.
- AI future pen function for drawing of predicted waveforms
A future pen function has been added to the GX/GP series recorders to enable the drawing of predicted waveforms based on the use of AI to analyse collected data in real time. By viewing predicted waveforms up to a specified time point, users can identify the likelihood that an alarm will occur and take action in advance. An industry first, this adds an entirely new dimension to the capabilities of recorders, whose collection and recording of data has conventionally been used to visualise the past and present performance of various types of equipment.
- Detection of anomalies and prediction of potential failures
A machine learning function has been added to the GA10 data logging software that can acquire normal process values from correctly operating devices and use these values to detect an anomaly and predict a potential failure, a capability that up till now has only been possessed by the most expert operators. Data on which device is expected to fail is displayed on screen, highlighted within a yellow frame. Maintenance can thus be performed before the device fails, minimising the likelihood of any disruptions to production. This function does not necessitate the collection of abnormal process values and thus is easy to implement.
- Addition of Python support
e-RT3 Plus controllers can be built into various types of devices. For use with these controllers, Yokogawa is releasing a new CPU module that supports Python, a programming language that is widely used in machine learning and other branches of the AI field. The large library of software written in this language includes numerous tools that programmers can use to speed up their development of AI predictive diagnostic functions. This new CPU module also has excellent environmental resistance, and easily accommodates existing input/output (IO) modules. The addition of this new module to the e-RT3 Puls edge computing platform will enable the introduction of AI solutions in a wider range of industries.
For added flexibility, the new e-RT3 Plus controllers run on Linux Ubuntu*3, a general-purpose operating system.
Major Target Markets
- GX series: Production sites in a wide range of industries including iron and steel, electric power, chemicals, pulp and paper, foods, pharmaceuticals, heat treatment equipment, water supply and wastewater treatment, electrical equipment, and electronics
- GP series: Companies engaged in R&D of home appliances, automobiles, semiconductors, and new-energy related technologies as well as academic institutions and research institutes
- GA10: Both of the above
- e-RT3 Plus: Manufacturers of industrial machinery and companies engaged in the assembly of electronic components and devices
Monitoring and recording of voltage, current, temperature, flow rate, pressure, and other process variables; evaluation of performance in equipment management, production, and product development; safety and reliability evaluation during product quality inspection processes
*1 A versatile programming language that is widely used in AI application development. Designed to be user-friendly with simple code, Python enables users to write various programs in a clear manner with fewer lines of code than other languages. In addition, numerous Python open-source libraries are available for use in machine learning and other AI applications.
*2 Based on a March 2020 Yokogawa survey
*3 A Linux distribution and installation package provided by Canonical Ltd., a UK-based software company
SMARTDAC+ stands for smart data acquisition and control, and the SMARTDAC+ system includes a variety of IO modules and options. With the product lineup of the GX series panel-mount type paperless recorders, GP series portable paperless recorders, GA10 data logging software, and GM series data acquisition systems, SMARTDAC+ offers extensive support for manufacturing process monitoring and performance evaluation.
OpreX is the comprehensive brand for Yokogawa's industrial automation (IA) and control business. The OpreX name stands for excellence in the technologies and solutions that Yokogawa cultivates through the co-creation of value with its customers, and encompasses the entire range of Yokogawa's IA products, services, and solutions. This brand comprises the following five categories: OpreX Transformation, OpreX Control, OpreX Measurement, OpreX Execution, and OpreX Lifecycle. The SMARTDAC+ data acquisition and control system is part of the OpreX Data Acquisition lineup, which is aligned under the OpreX Measurement category. The OpreX Measurement category includes field equipment and systems for highly precise measurement, data collection, and analysis.
With this brand, Yokogawa will deliver integrated solutions that address specific needs and support its customers in their efforts to transform and grow their businesses.
Founded in 1915, Yokogawa engages in broad-ranging activities in the areas of measurement, control, and information. The industrial automation business provides vital products, services, and solutions to a diverse range of process industries including oil, chemicals, natural gas, power, iron and steel, and pulp and paper. With the life innovation business, the company aims to radically improve productivity across the pharmaceutical and food industry value chains. The test & measurement, aviation, and other businesses continue to provide essential instruments and equipment with industry-leading precision and reliability. Yokogawa co-innovates with its customers through a global network of 113 companies spanning 60 countries, generating US$3.6 billion in sales in FY2018. For more information, please visit www.yokogawa.com.
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