NTT Communications Corporation and OMRON Corporation will start a collaboration for manufacturing DX (hereinafter “joint development”) from October 3, 2022. In the joint development, we aim to develop and launch solutions that accelerate the realization of manufacturing which coexists with the global environment by linking the each technologies in the IT domain that NTT Com specializes in with the technologies OMRON specializes in the OT (factory automation) domain.
In the manufacturing industry, we are required not only to respond to diverse needs and pursue high QCD, but also to make efforts to rapid achieve the SDGs, such as realizing manufacturing that coexists with the preservation of the “global environment”. Decarbonization of manufacturing processes is one of the issues at manufacturing sites, and it is required to consider not only the own factory but the entire supply chain and work on decarbonization for total optimization. CO emissions data, etc. of manufacturing sites are held in the OT domain in multiple systems in own factory and other companies in the supply chain. To realize decarbonization in manufacturing, it is necessary to create a mechanism that enables to share data in the OT domain across the entire supply chain while protecting data sovereignty by utilizing technologies in the IT domain, and utilize the data for improving energy efficiency, etc. in the production processes.
2. Outline of Joint Development
NTT Com and OMRON have been working on interconnection trials with partners in Japan and Europe since 2021 to realize secure data sharing between domestic and international organizations while protecting data sovereignty. These trials have verified interconnection using the “IDS Connector” by IDSA, that equally cooperates with “Gaia-X”*3under the DSBA alliance and aims to expand the scope of this trial. Specifically, the two companies will jointly build an experimental environment from October 2022 that links the automation technologies, experiences at manufacturing sites and wide lineup of control devices held by OMRON with the ICT infrastructure of NTT Com and develop and launch solutions that enable to share data in the OT domain across the entire supply chain while protecting data sovereignty. We will mainly work on the following.
① Implementing a data linkage platform that enables interconnection with various European data linkage infrastructures
By utilizing the data utilization platform “Smart Data Platform” of NTT Com (hereinafter “SDPF”) and the data linkage platform developed by NTT Com and NTT DATA Corporation (hereinafter “this platform”), interconnection with various European data linkage infrastructures such as “Catena-X” and “SCSN” (that present two of the seven Gaia-X Lighthouses) will be realized. Furthermore, we will implement this platform to enable international linkage of CO emissions data, etc. while protecting data sovereignty, and provide solutions utilizing this platform in the IT domain.
② Verifying interconnection that safely connects IT domain and OT domain
The two companies safely interconnect this platform located in the IT domain with controllers located in the OT domain to share between companies the data in the OT domain which are related to the products and production of each manufacturing company. We will connect the mobile networks such as 5G, global networks, edge computing service “SDPF Edge”, and “withTrust®” with controllers of OMRON, and jointly verify a mechanism to precisely collect, analyze and utilize data such as of raw material types, energy consumption, and quality that are gathered during production processes.
③ Providing realization of manufacturing sites that achieve both high productivity and energy efficiency
We will support both high productivity and energy efficiency by providing automation solutions that embody OMRON's unique manufacturing site innovation concept “innovative-Automation” in the OT domain. We will enable to reduce and visualize CO emissions by precisely converting the carbon footprint into data, which are minimized by optimizing the operation rate and control method of the equipment at the production sites. In addition, we will begin the joint technical verification to visualize the usage and disposal status of each resource for resource recycling and to promote reuse of it.
3 Future Deployments
The two companies aim solving total issues in the IT and OT domains by providing ①, ②, and ③ in the image diagram of this joint development to customers mainly in the manufacturing industry in one stop. Furthermore, this platform will be expanded not only to various data linkage infrastructures in Europe, but also to global manufacturing systems and cloud connections, so that all manufacturing industries support international standard interfaces and continue to grow globally. Both companies will accelerate the realization of manufacturing that coexists with the global environment by promoting manufacturing DX and contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.