Ricoh has started full-scale operations of of a factory-wide production status visualisation system, developed by Fujitsu at its Numazu Plant in Japan, which manufactures polymerized toner.
The new system leverages Fujitsu’s plant visualisation solution, Fujitsu Manufacturing Industry Solution Colmina Intelligent Dashboard, to collect and process production information from Ricoh’s chemical plant in Numazu for a comprehensive view of the entire plant’s production status in real-time.
Connecting the system with smartphones, tablets, and other devices makes it possible to visualise the status of plant operations and changes in product quality anytime and anywhere, enabling management to remotely manage factories and quickly intervene to prevent potential disruptions to smooth operations, including facility anomalies and quality defects.
Also, Fujitsu will play an active role in supporting Ricoh’s plans to expand the system to other locations and will continue to support digital transformation initiatives at its various production sites.
The Numazu chemical plant is a large-scale facility that produces polymerized toner, where products flow through tanks, pipes, and processing equipment.
The condition of the products cannot be confirmed from the outside. Instead, product condition is determined through information from facility sensors and sampling inspections.
To enable a small number of on-site workers to safely manage and respond to information drawn from a massive number of facility sensors, it’s imperative to provide operation status reports from the plant quickly and intuitively to field workers to ensure safe operations and quality assurance. And with COVID-19 preventing site managers from visiting sites at times, Ricoh has also been exploring new working styles.
Thus, Ricoh and Fujitsu embarked on the joint development and deployment of a system for visualizing the entire plant’s production status in September 2020, which supports speedy and safe remote plant management.