General Motors Uses Cloud to Power 800 Factory Floor Robots

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Imagine you’ve created an automated system where 800 robots help you assemble a product.
If only one of those 800 robots begins to perform poorly, the synchronicity of your entire operation could be at risk.
Did you know that General Motors uses over 800 robots in its Lake Orion production facility? The next generation factory, which some experts are calling, “The Connected Factory,” is being viewed by some as what a preview of what the next generation of automotive manufacturing facilities could look like.
The robots in these factories help streamline vehicle production by performing tasks that make it easier for humans to do their part on the assembly line floor.
For example, one robot continuously lifts the frames of the vehicles while another robot may assist in applying a paint job to the car.
General Motors has teamed up with the likes of Fanuc, Rockwell Automation and Cisco to build a robotics platform that utilizes IoT sensors in order to gain analytics on the health of the robotics.
Fanuc provides algorithms that can predict when machines will fail based on the data gathered by the censors. GM says that this is one its first plants that have been equipped with the cloud.
“The robot calls in and says, ‘I’ve got an issue in one of my motors in one of my joints,’ ” says Scott Whybrew in an interview with Fortune.
“Or it may say it’s about to get sick in a few seconds,” Whybrew added.
Manufacturing, IoT and Cloud will enjoy a prosperous relationship over the next few years. Research analysts Markets and Markets says that Industrial IoT will be worth over $150B by 2020.
When realize how small the IoT market is now, you can see how cloud, IoT and robotics can certainly help increase automation while streamlining industrial production.