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Hitachi launches open prototyping laboratory in Japan

Wed 30 Nov 2016

Multi-national tech conglomerate Hitachi has announced the launch of an open laboratory for customer prototyping in Japan.

The operation, which begins next month, and is a collaboration with the Yokohama Research Laboratory, will comprise of five laboratories, each specialising in a specific business area.

The primary Monozukuri* Open Automation launch begins in December, exploring environments of the future, including supply-chain simulation, operational technology – including ‘work-anomaly detection’ – and the synergisms between human workers, things, facilities and processes.

The second lab, System Modernising, also going online next month, examines methods of scanning and evaluating current systems under consideration, with the intent of efficiently testing their quality.

December’s other topic for the new labs is Security Operation, which will use IoT-based security technologies to envision new approaches to the securing of large-scale systems.

Two other sectors launch within the project, tentatively from April of 2017. Transportation Analytics will simulate road environments of the future, employing data analytics and system collaborations to optimise tasks such as traffic management, maintenance, operational control and timetable scheduling, among others.

The other sector scheduled for April is Data Analytics Platform. This lab will concentrate on IoT data use in the context of open source software (OSS), DevOps, data processing & analytics and artificial intelligence.

The innovation follows up the opening of Hitachi’s co-creation environment in 2015. In March the company launched a new FinTech research initiative in the United States, with an emphasis on blockchain technology.

The new space will feature integration with Hitachi’s open architecture IoT Core system, Lumada, which provides edge integration and data repositories via NoSQL banks for centralised device states.

The company states in its release:

‘Hitachi will pursue technology development in applications and platforms contributing to the creation of future-oriented innovations including the resolution of future societal issues by prototyping and verifying value together with co-creation partners.’

Hitachi, based out of Tokyo, has consolidated revenues for 2015 totalling 10,034.3 billion yen ($88.8 billion), currently employing 335,000 employees around the world.


* Monozukuri – a popular Japanese working concept closing to ‘craftsmanship’ in intent, though literally meaning ‘production’.

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