Fanuc has developed a technology to network its robots and let factory owners customize them by downloading apps, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Writes Takashi Mochizuki, “The move marks a strategic shift for Fanuc, an industrial powerhouse known for its secretiveness. Chief executive Yoshiharu Inaba said at a news conference that the initiative reflects a more open approach.”
He quotes Inaba as saying, “We believe this will be a de facto standard for factories around the world.”
Mochizuki cites IHS figures showing that Fanuc had 17% of the global industrial robot market last year, besting rivals General Electric, ABB, and Siemens, which are all trying to develop a default Industry 4.0 format for connected smart factories.
Mochizuki adds, “Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes to leverage artificial intelligence to revive Japan’s economy, but experts say Japanese companies are running behind overseas competitors in research and development, partly due to insufficient collaboration.”