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Vol. 72, No. 4, September 2017

  Special Reports 1

Toshiba's New SPINEX IoT Architecture Reinforcing Digital Transformation

Toward Realization of Novel Social Infrastructures Utilizing IoT and ICT

Trends in Industrial IoT and Approach of Toshiba Group
Industries throughout the world are entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a new industrial era in which the industrial structure itself is being transformed by digitization. Economic values and growth areas have been changing due to the introduction of digital technologies. Accordingly, manufacturing industries have been focusing more on outcome values and experience values of the customer, rather than on functional values of the product as in the past. These trends will have a major impact on the manufacturing sector. In order to meet the needs of this new era, the shift to new business models to gain customer value with digital technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and artificial intelligence (AI), is becoming increasingly important to enhance competitiveness.
In response to these customer requirements for digital transformation, Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation has developed a new IoT architecture called SPINEX. Based on the latest technologies, SPINEX incorporates the Toshiba Group's experience and know-how cultivated in a broad range of industrial sectors including the manufacturing, energy, and social infrastructure industries.

New SPINEX IoT Architecture to Support Digital Transformation
With the recent movement toward digitization applying information and communication technologies (ICTs), various industries worldwide are being compelled to reconsider their business models. In this situation, it is important to transform the conventional business model into a new business model that makes use of state-of-the-art technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and artificial intelligence (AI).
Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation has developed the SPINEX IoT architecture, which combines the latest technologies with know-how and expertise cultivated through a broad range of achievements in system development, operation, and maintenance in the infrastructure and industrial fields. Our SPINEX IoT architecture makes it possible to not only improve operational efficiency in product manufacturing by linking various devices and products, but also to accelerate digital transformation in order to optimize the customer's business management.

Security Technologies for Industrial IoT Systems
OYA Toshiharu / NAKAMIZO Takanori / MATSUSHITA Tatsuyuki
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) systems have recently been attracting attention, particularly in the manufacturing industry. However, since IoT equipment and control systems are connected to information systems in such IIoT systems, the risk of cyberattacks increases.
To enhance the security of IIoT systems, Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation has developed support technologies for the acquisition of security certifications to secure the equipment and control systems constituting IIoT systems. We have also developed SecuScope, a tool that facilitates the efficient analysis of security threats by taking the characteristics of the target equipment and control systems into consideration based on international security standards. These technologies make it possible to reduce the work required for the acquisition of security certifications for such equipment and control systems and to ensure security for IIoT systems.

Deep Learning Data Augmentation Technique to Improve Image Recognition Accuracy
ITO Hidemasa / IRIMOTO Yuji / KASHIMOTO Shinichi
In recent years, the need has arisen for the support or automatic implementation of inspection and monitoring work applying image recognition technologies powered by artificial intelligence (AI) instead of experts with technical know-how due to the declining labor force accompanying the shift to an aging society with fewer children. Large amounts of actual image data for learning are required in order to improve image recognition accuracy. However, it is difficult to collect a sufficient number of actual images in some types of operations.
Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation has developed a unique technique to automatically augment image data using generative adversarial networks (GANs), one of the deep learning technologies. We have conducted image recognition simulations using images of power lines to represent inspection and monitoring work, and confirmed that image recognition accuracy is enhanced by learning that incorporates augmented image data when the amount of actual image data is insufficient.

Scene Text Recognition Technology to Obtain Information in Manufacturing Processes
FURUHATA Akio / ONO Soichiro / FUU Shimou
With the accelerating movement toward the certification of traceability and analysis of big data from processing steps in recent years, the acquisition of information on materials directly and indirectly used in manufacturing processes in factories and other production facilities has become increasingly important. Such data are often acquired from barcodes, etc. However, some information, such as lot numbers and expiry dates, is shown only in the form of characters. The acquisition of such text-based data is one of the main problems in this field.
Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation has been developing a scene text recognition (STR) technology to support the acquisition of information from factory scenes applying optical character recognition (OCR) technology, a field in which the Toshiba Group has accumulated long experience. Since scenes at manufacturing facilities vary greatly according to the situation, we have customized our STR technology to adjust to the environment by selecting and assembling known modules and optimizing their parameters in accordance with the restrictions specific to the site. We have confirmed that our new STR technology has now reached the practical level.

People-Flow Analysis Technologies to Identify Intentions and Situations
MATSUMOTO Nobuyuki / IKUZAWA Takuya / UNE Yasuomi
In recent years, efforts have been increasingly focused on acquiring an understanding of the ambient situation in various commercial buildings and public facilities through analysis of data collected from IoT (Internet of Things) devices.
Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation has been developing people-flow analysis technologies to identify situations by focusing on people and their movements in sensed data. As part of these efforts, we have developed technologies to estimate congestion levels in buildings as well as to reduce privacy risks in the case of distributing camera images. Moreover, in response to the intensifying need for the detection of suspicious persons and emergency situations, we have also developed a technology to detect distinctive types of behavior, including unusual actions and events, based on either of two approaches according to the use case; namely, a rule-based approach and a machine-learning-based approach. We have confirmed the feasibility of these technologies through field demonstration experiments for the former approach and accuracy verification tests with simulated video images using extras for the latter approach.

Image Analysis Integrating Characteristic – Distinguishing and Learning Technologies to Understand Movement in Closed-Packed Areas
OUCHI Kazushige / KOBAYASHI Daisuke / NAKASU Toshiaki / AOKI Yoshimitsu
Training and tactical analysis utilizing information and communication technology (ICT) has been progressing in the sports world in recent years, and strategy analysis using image recognition has also been attempted. However, as in the case of rugby with 15 players in a team, in a game where the number of players participating is large and contact and close-packed play occurs frequently, game analysis using image recognition is technically difficult and has therefore not been actively utilized.
In response to this situation, Toshiba has developed a hybrid type video analysis system that detects and tracks a ball according to its distinguishing characteristics and detects and tracks players using deep learning technologies with video images from a single camera. Targeted at rugby, one of the sports being specifically promoted in Japan, this system realizes improved detection of players in close-packed areas and allows the trajectory of the ball and movements of the players to be mapped onto a virtual two-dimensional (2D) rugby field. The system can also perform automatic play classification using a deep learning technique, making it possible to save labor in the task of tagging major plays that has conventionally been carried out manually. This system can be applied not only to rugby but also to various other sports, as well as to industrial fields such as work analysis using surveillance cameras.

IoT Gateway Device Realizing Edge Computing for Social Infrastructure and Industrial Fields
NAKAJIMA Hiroshi / MATSUMOTO Kenichiro
In order to accumulate and analyze large volumes of Internet of Things (IoT) device data in the social infrastructure and industrial fields, it is important to achieve a balance between cloud computing resources and edge computing resources. Edge computing enables users to promptly and accurately grasp the actual situation of equipment and fluctuations in its performance using IoT gateway devices. This, in turn, becomes the basis of the more intelligent rich edge computing to create new business value.
Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation has developed a novel IoT gateway device for edge computing in these fields. This device has an architecture that allows flexible edge computing and ongoing operational improvements by providing software platforms that can configure various devices, data, and data processing operations in supervisory and control systems. Furthermore, we have realized environmentally durable, highly reliable, and securely robust hardware for this IoT gateway device using the comprehensive technologies in these fields accumulated by the Toshiba Group.

Manufacturing Innovations Using IoT and Toshiba Group's Approach
The manufacturing sector is on the threshold of a dramatic transformation through the use of Internet of Things (IoT) data. With imminent changes in the rules of competition that govern manufacturing industries, various approaches have been initiated at both the government and private levels in Japan following the lead of the United States and European countries.
The Toshiba Group has been participating in cross-sectoral activities being carried out by industries, universities, and governments in the U.S., Europe, and Japan related to this trend. Furthermore, Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation is offering "Meister Series," next-generation manufacturing solutions for manufacturing industries based on a wide range of technology assets of the Toshiba Group, including development experience and know-how in industrial fields. Meister Series provides total support for the three layers of gathering, storing, and utilizing information. We are contributing to innovations in manufacturing industries by reinforcing human skills, which are one of the strong points of Japanese manufacturing, and by supporting the use of IoT at manufacturing sites.


  Special Reports 2

Toshiba Power Grid Solutions toward Electricity System Reform in Japan

Taking a New Step Forward toward Electricity System Reform in the Spirit of the Founder, Hisashige Tanaka
SAITO Hideki

Power System Reform and Toshiba's Initiatives
KAJIHARA Toshiyuki / NODA Taketoshi / KUSANO Hideo
As the final step in the ongoing reform of the electricity system in Japan, electric power utilities will be required to legally unbundle their transmission and distribution sectors from their generation and retail sectors in April 2020. After the unbundling of these sectors, power generation and retail companies will aim to maximize their profit by securing electricity supplies to their customers, while transmission and distribution companies will pursue more efficient and sophisticated operation and maintenance of their grid facilities. At the same time, there is a strong need to expand the introduction of renewable energy from the standpoint of environmental conservation.
With the approach of this new era, Toshiba is offering innovative grid solutions for electricity supply and demand management systems, power supervisory control systems, asset management systems, and electric energy storage systems, utilizing technologies nurtured through its long accumulation of experience in the transmission and distribution systems together with the latest Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

Electricity Supply and Demand Management Systems Suitable for Legal Unbundling of Transmission and Distribution Sectors
ICHIKAWA Ryoichi / TADA Yoshimasa / KOBAYASHI Takenori
With the implementation of the third stage of electricity system reform in Japan in 2020, the neutrality of power transmission and distribution will be accomplished by legal unbundling of the transmission and distribution sectors of electric utilities from their generation and retail sectors. The separation of information between these sectors will also be required. It is therefore necessary to prepare two types of electricity supply and demand management systems: one for the transmission and distribution companies to manage the power balance between the supply and demand of the entire area for which they are responsible, and the other for the generation and retail companies to balance their power generation and retail consumption.
In response to these requirements, Toshiba has newly developed electricity supply and demand management systems suitable for the legal unbundling of the transmission and distribution sectors, utilizing the technologies and knowledge cultivated in the development of central dispatching center systems that have gained the top market share among general electric utilities, in addition to conventional electricity supply and demand management systems that have been deployed for power producers and suppliers.

Power Supervisory Control System Capable of Integrated Management of Power Transmission and Distribution Systems
With the dramatic systemic changes taking place in Japan's electric power industry, including full retail competition and legal unbundling of power transmission and distribution sectors, the transmission and distribution sectors of general electric utilities are endeavoring to secure the reliability of electricity supplies and ensure low consignment costs. In addition, they are making efforts to realize the smart operation and maintenance of their facilities by enhancing the sophistication and efficiency of power transmission and distribution business activities and reducing the costs of supervisory control systems for the facilities.
In order to realize these objectives, Toshiba has developed a power supervisory control system that centralizes systems, unifies all data from the bulk power system to the distribution system, and implements the security measures necessary for critical infrastructure.

Asset Management System for Power Distribution Businesses to Realize Efficient Management
OKA Masaaki / INUKAI Michihiko / HOSHIKAWA Toshinori
The concept of asset management in the electric power industry, aimed at the optimal exploitation of assets according to their condition and utilization, was created more than 10 years ago. This concept is currently being further broadened with the ongoing reform of the electricity system in Japan to legally unbundle the transmission and distribution sectors of electric utilities from their generation and retail sectors. It is now necessary to expand this concept into a comprehensive asset management system for efficient business management by the digitalization of management resources including people, goods, money, and information.
The following are required for the realization of this concept: (1) upgraded visualization capabilities together with a mechanism to input useful data into an artificial intelligence (AI) system for evaluation, analysis, and simulation; and (2) a method to efficiently accumulate useful data employing cutting-edge Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and a platform for the coordination of information systems. Such a system will significantly improve the user's operational efficiency.
Toshiba is investigating an expanded asset management system to support power transmission and distribution businesses, utilizing its long accumulation of development experience in the power business.

Energy Storage Solutions to Simultaneously Ensure Power Supply and Demand Balancing Capability and Facilitate Wide Adoption of Renewable Energy
Markets for power supply and demand balancing are making preparations to deal with the ongoing electricity system reform in Japan, leading to an increasing need to ensure power supply and demand balancing capability. On the other hand, with the increasing introduction of renewable energy generation to realize a low-carbon society, insufficient power supply and demand balancing capability due to fluctuations in the output of renewable energy generation may become a problem.
Toshiba has developed various energy storage solutions in response to this situation. These include a stationary battery energy storage system that supports power supply and demand balancing with high safety, a long service life, and high output power using SCiB™ lithium-ion batteries developed by the Toshiba Group, and the H2One™ hydrogen-based autonomous energy supply system that reduces the burden of power supply and demand balancing by converting renewable energy stored in bulk form as hydrogen energy into a stable power supply. These energy storage solutions make it possible to simultaneously ensure power supply and demand balancing capability and facilitate the wide adoption of renewable energy.


  Feature Articles

Ferroelectric Tunnel Junction Memory with HfO2 Thin Film
FUJII Shosuke / SAITOH Masumi
Research is being pursued on thin-film ferroelectric tunnel junction (FTJ) memory as a next-generation nonvolatile memory. One issue to be solved in this area is that the perovskite type ferroelectric materials that are conventionally used are difficult to incorporate into the process of complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) production.
As a solution to this issue, Toshiba has developed a hafnium oxide (HfO2) FTJ memory with a HfO2 film that is easy to incorporate into the CMOS process as a ferroelectric material, and demonstrated memory operation using a prototype of the HfO2 FTJ memory for the first time in the world. We have confirmed that the characteristics of this memory, including its low operating current, voltage-driven switching, and intrinsic diode property, are superior to those of other nonvolatile memories. In addition, we have created design guidelines for the operating voltage and have been able to reduce the operating voltage to below that of the prototype.

Method for Management of Development Risks to Improve Efficiency of Semiconductor Product Development
NISHIUCHI Hideo / INOUE Michinobu
It is important for semiconductor products to satisfy the market's requirements in terms of quality, cost, and delivery (QCD). As a consequence of the trend toward more sophisticated and complex semiconductor products in recent years, however, risks that could impair QCD are increasing in the processes of product development. Toshiba has been working to achieve a method for the management of development risks that extracts such risks at the initial phase of development and implements risk control as development proceeds.
We have now developed a method to extract risks using a technique called technology breakdown, and a method to control development schedules using Gantt charts that combines resource management with a work breakdown structure (WBS). We have applied these methods to semiconductor products and confirmed that they support the efficient development of semiconductor products that satisfy QCD by extracting risks that might emerge in the downstream processes at an early stage and guiding the development plan so as to avoid these risks.


  Frontiers of  Research & Development

Technology for High-Speed Fabrication of Nanofibrous Membranes Using Electrospinning Process

* Company, product, and service names appearing in each paper include those that are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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