2015 VOL.70 NO.10

  Special Reports

Measurement and Control Systems Supporting Social and Industrial Infrastructures

Approaches toward Sophistication of Measurement and Control Systems
NISHIO Atsuhiko

Trends in and Future Outlook for Measurement and Control Systems
KAJIHARA Shigeru / UMEDA Yuji / MIMURA Akihiro
Measurement and control systems are used in manufacturing facilities, environment-related equipment, and other facilities in various spheres including industrial systems, social infrastructure systems, and power systems.
Toshiba has been supplying measurement and control systems and components for these systems with advanced functionality and high reliability, applying state-of-the-art technologies. Accompanying the changes taking place in society and the industrial world as well as the increasing need for improvement of the efficiency and sophistication of these systems, we are making continuous efforts to supply a wide range of solutions and to develop technologies for industrial controllers, industrial computers, field measurement equipment, and rolling measurement equipment.

Real-Time Data Management Solutions for Steel and Nonferrous Metal Plants
In steel and nonferrous metal plants, attention has been increasingly focused on effective analysis and utilization of the large volumes of data collected by the plant control system in order to clearly grasp the status of the plant and quality of the manufactured products.
As a response to this trend, Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corporation is supplying the "TMPDS" plant data management solutions, which ensure the time synchronization of plant data necessary to achieve enhanced control performance and data recording quality through high-speed transmission of large volumes of data via the TC-net 1G and TC-net 100 control networks. The TMPDS solutions contribute to the improvement of both product quality and production management, including preventive maintenance for hot-strip mill lines according to the facility conditions.

PlantLogMeister Electronic Plant Operation Log for Effective Use of Knowledge Data Accumulated at Manufacturing Sites
Ongoing operational improvement activities to reduce costs and enhance quality and efficiency are implemented at manufacturing sites while ensuring safe and stable operations in order to survive the competition in global markets. Effective use of plant operation information is essential for the execution of these activities. However, this is hindered by the fact that the majority of such information is entered by hand in daily operation records and other manually prepared documents.
Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corporation has developed PlantLogMeister (hereafter abbreviated as PLM), an electronic plant operation log that facilitates the effective use of operational know-how. PLM assists manufacturers in achieving solutions to various issues faced at the manufacturing site by using knowledge data based on electronically accumulated operational know-how.

Industrial Controllers Enhancing Plant Information Systems in Conjunction with MES Solutions
MOMOTAKE Hiroyuki / GUAN Zhengzheng / HAMAGUCHI Hirokazu
In line with the significant progress of information and communication technology (ICT) and changes in industrial markets, a major transformation has been taking place in the business environment surrounding industrial fields in recent years. Control systems are required to provide inheritability and evolvability in order to connect existing systems to various field devices without any burden, while ensuring high reliability including security as well as continuous operation. In addition, there is a need for industrial controllers operating in conjunction with manufacturing execution system (MES) solutions aimed at realizing greater sophistication and efficiency of operation and management.
In response to this situation, Toshiba has been supplying the Unified Controller nv series lineup that offers the latest total solutions in response to market needs based on technologies cultivated through the development of industrial controllers, while inheriting the reliability and safety of predecessor products.

Industrial Computers Assuming New Role as Hub for IoT Devices
INARI Masaru / TAKAYANAGI Yoichi / AZUMA Takao
Industrial computers have been applied to industrial automation and social infrastructure systems in various fields, such as supervisory control systems and built-in computers for industrial equipment, due to their notable features including robustness; maintainability; reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) functions; and long-term stable supply. On the other hand, industrial markets have recently reached a significant turning point with the development of information infrastructure utilizing big data collected through Internet of Things (IoT) devices, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, and cloud computing.
Toshiba is making efforts to develop industrial computers assuming a new role as a hub (or gateway) for IoT devices in systems such as cloud computing, fog computing, and edge computing, applying its proprietary technologies cultivated through the development of industrial computers with high reliability and high added value.

TOSPECTRON-FCP•A Hole Detector for Steel Rolling Lines
Rolling line measuring instruments are key quality management equipment in a steel rolling mill, ensuring high quality and high reliability. They are widely used to measure the thickness, width, shape, and surface defects of products at all stages of production, from upstream processes such as the hot rolling line to downstream processes such as the surface processing line.
Toshiba has been developing and supplying rolling line measuring instruments offering high measurement accuracy and precise performance inspection for a broad range of applications based on its proprietary radiation detection and optical sensing technologies. We have now developed the TOSPECTRON-FCP•A, a new hole detector incorporating a hole size judging function with high resolution as well as a hole image storage function effective for troubleshooting, applying cameras with high speed and high resolution compliant with the CoaXPress (CXP) high-speed point-to-point serial communication standard for the transmission of image data.

Field Measurement Instruments Contributing to Mitigation of Various Environmental Issues
NOJIRI Hiroaki / YAMAGUCHI Yuichiro / LIM Yunli
A wide range of field measurement instruments are used to monitor a variety of process parameters.
To expand the fields of application of such instruments, Toshiba has been promoting the development and enhancement of its lineup of distinctive field measurement instruments such as electromagnetic flowmeters, microwave density (consistency) meters, pressure transmitters, and so on. Moreover, in line with the rising awareness of environmental issues in recent years, we are also developing a number of products, including a battery-powered electromagnetic flowmeter to secure a constant supply of water, an electromagnetic flowmeter for marine selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems to monitor nitrogen oxides (NOX) in exhaust gases from diesel engines, and an electromagnetic flowmeter to monitor the flow rate of ballast water, to contribute to the mitigation of various issues affecting environmental ecosystems.


  Feature Articles

High-Precision Time Synchronization Method for Wide-Area Power Line Protection Systems
ITO Masashi / KAWARADA Akira / FUJIKAWA Fuyuki / SERIZAWA Yoshizumi
Toshiba and the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry have been jointly promoting the research and development of Internet Protocol (IP) communication aimed at applying general-purpose communication technologies to wide-area power line protection systems. Although IP communication offers a flexible system configuration and highly reliable power line protection functions, it is not suitable for protection systems, which require the measurement of voltage and current data by each protection device with high-precision time synchronization, due to the fluctuation of its communication delay.
To rectify this situation, we have proposed a decentralized time synchronization method to achieve high-precision time synchronization even in IP communication networks by dividing the synchronization range according to the protection range. We have conducted simulation experiments applying this method to a wide-area communication network and confirmed that it can improve the accuracy of time synchronization.

Advanced Perpendicular STT-MRAM toward Realization of Highly Reliable and Low-Power Nonvolatile Cache Memories for High-Performance CPUs
NOGUCHI Hiroki / IKEGAMI Kazutaka / FUJITA Shinobu
In order to reduce the increasing power consumption of cache memories in micro processors accompanying the increase in their capacity, spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive random-access memories (STT-MRAMs), a type of nonvolatile memory, are expected to contribute to the reduction of power consumption and area as a replacement for current static RAMs (SRAMs), which consume a large amount of power to retain the stored data. However, the performance of current STT-MRAMs is insufficient to replace such SRAM cache memories.
Toshiba has developed technologies to satisfy the performance of STT-MRAMs required for their use as cache memories; namely, fast operation speed, low power consumption, and high reliability. These technologies include an advanced perpendicular magnetic tunnel junction (ap-MTJ) device that achieves high-speed, low-current switching in write operation; a memory cell consisting of two cell transistors and two ap-MTJ devices (2T2MTJ) and a current-integral sensing amplifier that achieve high-speed read operation; and a read-out circuit using a dual-sensing salvage scheme that enhances the reliability of STT-MRAMs by more than 10 times in conjunction with typical error-correcting code (ECC). We have confirmed through cycle-accurate processor simulations that an STT-MRAM-based last-level cache (LLC) can reduce the average power consumption of the total cache by 60% compared with an SRAM-based LLC, and can also reduce it by 37% compared with an embedded dynamic RAM (DRAM)-based LLC, thereby demonstrating the possibility of applying STT-MRAMs to large-capacity LLCs.

Elevator-Group Control System to Reduce Energy Consumption by Dynamic Control of Number of Running Cars
SAKAMAKI Yoshiyuki / SUGIHARA Toshio / TANAKA Toshiaki
In elevator systems with many cars, multiple cars continue to run in order to decrease waiting times even during time zones of lower traffic demand, resulting in wasted energy consumption. As traffic demand in an office building varies throughout the day, it is necessary to establish an adequate energy-saving function considering the tradeoff between waiting time and energy consumption under various traffic demand conditions.
Toshiba has developed an elevator-group control system that provides such an energy-saving function using dynamic control of the number of running cars (DCNRC). DCNRC increases or decreases the number of running cars at intervals of every few minutes, adjusting the average number of running cars to achieve a balance between waiting time and energy consumption.

In-Process Welding Monitoring System Using Laser-Ultrasonic Testing
HOSHI Takeshi / YAMAMOTO Setsu / OGAWA Tsuyoshi
In the industrial field, a technology to fabricate large structures by combining various small parts is being established in line with the progress of welding technology.
With this as a background, Toshiba has developed the world's first in-process welding monitoring system applying a laser-ultrasonic testing technology in order to inspect defects in the process of welding. Through non-contact inspection of parts being welded at high temperature, the in-process welding monitoring system allows users to repair only the defect without the need for entire refabrication once it detects the presence of a defect in a welded part. This system has been applied to the manufacturing of turbine rotors for thermal power plants and is contributing to the reduction of process retrogression.

Platform as a Service to Support Agile Software Development
IKETANI Naoki / KIMURA Hayato / FUJIMOTO Hiroshi
Toshiba has established an application development platform applying agile software development that can improve the efficiency of software development with high uncertainty. This platform is provided as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) based on Cloud Foundry(†), an open source cloud computing PaaS, which allows application developers to provide middleware on demand as well as application execution environments. Application developers can easily use the necessary middleware via the network and simultaneously implement several versions of an application on a single PaaS platform, such as an official release version, an acceptance test version, a demonstration version, and so on. This reduces the burden on the developers of constructing and managing the development environment, allowing them to concentrate on the coding work and rapidly release application programs in conjunction with utility tools for continuous integration (CI). We have confirmed the effectiveness of this PaaS for agile software development through the results of trial production of an Internet of Things (IoT) application.

eXtreme Design Studio to Realize Lean Startup of New Business Fields by Working Collaboratively with Customers
With the progress of cloud services in recent years, approaches to the development of information technology (IT) systems have shifted from system development to service development. Both business capability to actively overcome various issues and agility are essential for the creation of new business opportunities in fields with future potential such as the Internet of Things (IoT).
Toshiba has formed an alliance with Pivotal Software, Inc. in the United States and employed its collaborative service development project known as "engagements" based on a business development methodology called lean startup as well as agile software development methodology. In an engagement, the customer and developer team jointly create a minimum viable product (MVP) that can be used to test the customer's core business hypotheses in order to minimize startup risks. With the aim of realizing proof of concept (PoC) through consensus processes, we have also introduced our user experience (UX) design to create new customer values by fusing products and services. We have established the eXtreme Design Studio (XDS) in Tokyo as a new collaborative workspace that allows customers to apply service development methodologies.

TV Shopping Solution Using Dedicated Set-Top Box System
HAYASE Ken / UEDA Hiroshi / OCHIAI Kenji
Toshiba has developed a TV shopping solution that provides a new shopping support service for Consumer Co-operative Kobe (Co-op Kobe). This service, which was inaugurated in March 2015, allows consumers to easily order a range of products from Co-op Kobe by means of a catalog on the TV screen using the remote controller or a voice recognition function via a TV connected to a dedicated set-top box. Our solution consists of a dedicated set-top box incorporating a third-generation (3G) communication system, a dedicated remote controller equipped with a microphone, applications, communications, and a server, together with overall support for the management of the service. In addition to its basic shopping functions, the service also supports elderly person monitoring and communication functions.


  Frontiers of  Research & Development

Automated Assembly Line for LED Bars Using Design for Manufacturability (DFM)

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