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Factory Automation

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Mitsubishi Electric used the opportunity of exhibiting at Drives & Controls to demonstrate the advantages of fully integrated automation solutions. Visitors were able to see new PLCs and new variable speed drives on display for the first time in the UK, alongside a comprehensive range of robots, servos, HMIs, networking options and safety solutions. “Fully integrated automation and robotic solutions can offer significant quality and productivity benefits,” says Chris Evans, Marketing and Operations Group Manager at Mitsubishi Electric – Automation Systems Division UK. “Our displays at the Drives & Controls Showed demonstrated both the capabilities of individual automation components and the extra benefits that accrue when they are integrated into larger systems.” Displays on the Mitsubishi Electric stand showcased the company’s traditional automation solutions such as PLCs, drives, HMIs, servos and robots, as well as low voltage switchgear and CNC systems. It identify opportunities for improved plant control in specific industries such as food and beverage processing, power generation, life sciences, water supply, packaging and materials handling. Mitsubishi Electric will also demonstrated its next generation control technology with two new ranges of PLC, the iQ-F and the iQ-R. Both of these connect seamlessly with the company’s other iQ controllers. The iQ-R is a powerful PAC (programmable automation controller) platform that offers class-leading performance, increased security, enhanced safety, reliable operation and reduced downtime. The iQ-F series builds on the legacy of the market-leading FX series of compact PLCs, a product range that has helped put Mitsubishi Electric in the number one spot for global production figures. The first model in the iQ-F series is the FX5U, which combines high standard functionality with a huge range of further options. Ethernet, analogue I/O, data logging, position control, security, communications and networking functions are all standard. Alongside the new PLCs will be a new variable speed drive, the FR-F800, which is designed to excel in pump and fan applications, delivering superior performance and energy efficiency. This is the latest addition to the FR-800 range of drives, all of which are able to provide maximum output and performance, enhanced efficiency, reliability and safety. To demonstrate easy integration the Mitsubishi Electric stand showed seamless connectivity provided by open CC-Link and CC-Link IE networks. These can enable rapid data exchange at up to 1GB/s between controllers. Related to the networking capability Mitsubishi Electric also demonstrated integrated safety. All of the company’s automation products come with safety solutions on-board that allow quick and easy implementation of distributed safety systems. This technology means that safety control is fully integrated with machine and production control. Further, visualisation of safety specific events can be achieved by a comprehensive range of HMIs. Evans sums up: “Now, more than ever, automation is about the integration of systems and sub-systems. Our latest generation of technologies takes seamless interconnectivity to a new level. Further, their high level of capabilities means they are designed to handle communications over the web and the ‘big data’ demands that are now becoming so important.”


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