At this year's bauma, Japanese manufacturer Yanmar is presenting an original new concept vehicle to the public for the first time. Packed with innovative technology, eFuzion demonstrates the depth and breadth of Yanmar's global R&D, with efforts to develop and implement innovative technologies to inspire creativity and unleash future possibility. Primarily developed by the robotics research team of Yanmar, a leading global manufacturer of industrial equipment, and market leader in compact construction equipment, eFuzion is a working demonstration of a precision machine with a robot arm and shows the possibilities of autonomous construction machinery of the future.
eFuzion - sustainable technologies for future The eFuzion concept is a vehicle from Yanmar's research centers to demonstrate technologies for tomorrow's industry and production that are at an advanced level of development. “All key technologies of e-mobility, robotics, connectivity, autonomous driving, and computer assisted operations have been integrated into our eFuzion concept,” explains Jemylia Raimbault, Global Marketing Director, Yanmar Construction Equipment. “With eFuzion, we can prove our strengths in innovation and demonstrate that we are developing technologies that will further revolutionize industry 4.0."
eFuzion moves autonomously in a specially designed eCubator, a 6 x 6 meter cube. The networked, intelligent vehicle carries out all-electric, autonomous operation under its own programming. In the eCubator demonstration, the eFuzion machine utilizes its precision, fine motor control by selecting red balls with its robot arm, before adding the red ball to another box, to create the Yanmar logo. The two different processes illustrate how the machine performs an excavation task autonomously, while avoiding or overcoming obstacles such as occur on a construction site. In the second case, the machine is operated manually to grab an object on the construction site.
The name eFuzion derives from “e” for electric and “Fu” for future, and symbolizes the digitization and the transformation of processes in business and industry. Only for demonstration purposes does the surface of the eCubator, a 6 x 6 m cube, change from opaque to transparent, making the concept machine visible. The naming is intended to invoke associations with “incubator”, as in start-ups and their disruptive ideas. The technologies behind such disruptions, which change processes in industry and economy, are under development at Yanmar’s R&D centers. Far from being a stand-alone technology demonstrator, eFuzion has emerged from Yanmar's extensive technology and research foundation, and exists together with proven technologies from other Yanmar businesses fields.
CASE - Connected, Autonomous, Sharing, Electrification
With CASE, Yanmar is looking at how its customers work and do business in the next 100 years.
Yanmar already offers advanced communications and IT solutions to thousands of its customers with SMARTASSIST-Remote, a system that allows any user with a smartphone to remotely monitor in real time, extensive data about the operational status, location and work of their machinery. From the agricultural sector comes the technology of autonomous agricultural equipment, already on sale and being used in Japan. Responding to the needs of society to better mobilize under-utilized resources, Yanmar has made forays into the sharing economy with a construction equipment platform in the Turkish market, and a strategic partnership in GetMyBoat, a leading American boat rental platform operating globally. Meanwhile, research continues into various electric drive systems designed to fulfill the needs of industry and consumers in the new century. Current efforts include diesel hybrid engines for boats, hydrogen fuel cells powered boat in Japan.
Worldwide research and development centers
Yanmar continuously develops technologies in the areas of food production and energy conversion. Using minimal resources and delivering the best possible results - is the core of solutions to provide the future society with a more prosperous future. These are created at Yanmar's six research centers, which focus on fundamental research around the world, supporting all of the company's practice-oriented businesses.
Three of these centers are in Japan. The Central Research Institute (Maibara, Shiga Prefecture), the core center of the Yanmar Group, explores automatic driving, robotics and energy technologies. While the Bio Innovation Center, Kurashiki Laboratory (Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture) is developing sustainable food production systems in cooperation with domestic and foreign facilities, the Bio Innovation Center Marine Farm (Kunisaki, Oita Prefecture), deals with modern technologies for the fishing industry. Focusing on the Asian market, Yanmar Kota Kinabalu R&D Center (Kota, Kinabalu, Malaysia) produces and analyzes biofuels and researches technologies for fisheries and agriculture. Meanwhile, the Yanmar (Shandong) R&D Center (Shandong, China) is working with leading Chinese companies and research institutes on solutions for energy conservation, food production and clean energy. At European level, Yanmar R&D Europe (Tuscany, Italy), in collaboration with local universities, is researching evaluation technologies for future forms of energy such as local energy networks, advanced simulation and robot control technology. It was instrumental in the development of eFuzion.
Cutting-edge technology from global research and development
Yanmar's R&D competencies are reflected across five areas. Y-Robotics engineers work on field robotics to work autonomously and automatically in a complex environment. Measure-ment detection technology, intelligent control technology and system control, as well as mechanization and mechanical technology will help people to work with greater precision, safety and less effort. Y-Energy is engaged in the research and development of next-generation drives that use different energy sources for hybrid drives and electric motors. The spectrum covers the motor and hybrid technology, power electronics / energy transmission technology, technology for electric and heat storage, hydrogen / heat and energy manage-ment technology. Y-Cultivation focuses on biotechnologies for agriculture and fisheries. The use of breeding and propagation technologies, biological monitoring and evaluation tech-nology as well as environmental control technology serve to improve product yield and quality. Y-Quality researchers build and develop enabling basic technologies by which high-quality products can be designed, manufactured and evaluated. They relate to ergonomics, materials, design, evaluation and prediction, as well as diagnostic and security technology. The products are designed for maximum safety, high capacity utilization, so that customers can work effectively without interruption. The Y-Experience area develops technologies that help customers make better use of their time. These include remote, cognitive technology, automated driving technology, automatic response technology and the entire IoT technology.