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Direct input and output system: another secret underlying Fanuc's unmanned factory

Yoshihiro Kusuda (Associate Editor, Assembly Automation)

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 18 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe the fundamental concept of Fanuc's 720 h unattended continuous manufacturing system. It pays special attention to the material‐handling system, direct input‐output system (DIO system) created by Tetsuro Mori, Seibu Electric, Japan, that is the integral part of the unmanned factory besides intelligent robots. Also it refers to the origin of the term “mechatronics” – how Tetsuro Mori coined it.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on an interview with Tetsuro Mori, the report describes how he conceived the system and how Fanuc employed the concept throughout its production facilities.

Findings

The DIO strategy not only will be beneficial for the big corporations like Fanuc, but also it will be useful for smaller enterprises.

Originality/value

Although many reports were published on Fanuc's unattended manufacturing system they only talk about the intelligent robots and apparently forget to mention the role of the unique concept of the material‐handling system that made the unmanned operation possible. The report elaborates the secret of the system. Also, probably, the report is the first one outside Japan that discloses how the term “mechatronics” was born.

Keywords

Citation

Kusuda, Y. (2008), "Direct input and output system: another secret underlying Fanuc's unmanned factory", Assembly Automation, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 115-119. https://doi.org/10.1108/01445150810863680

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited