Initiatives that contribute to addressing social issues

Factory Automation Systems Group

Message from the Group President

Delivering Devices, Equipment, and Solutions that Help Reduce Energy Usage in Our Customers’ Manufacturing Processes Around the World

photo: Yoshikazu Miyata

Yoshikazu Miyata
Senior Vice President, Group President,
Factory Automation Systems

Devices and equipment used in industrial mechatronics are essential to adding value and enhancing the competitiveness of business through quality and productivity improvements for customers in the manufacturing industry. Mitsubishi Electric's Factory Automation Systems Group provides devices and systems possessing high energy-saving capabilities that are ideal for production facilities in factories, where the bulk of energy is consumed.

By optimizing the utilization of FA technologies cultivated by Mitsubishi Electric and cooperative technologies that connect FA and IT, we help customers reduce the total cost of development, production and maintenance, and continuously support their improvement activities. We are committed to proposing manufacturing solutions that keep our customers one step ahead of the competition, and strongly support manufacturing and management optimization.

In addition, we verify productivity and facility utilization ratios through the operation of an "e-F@ctory model plant" at our Nagoya Works. In the factory, a large number of activities have indicated the benefits of reducing CO2 from production, including improved productivity, shorter lead times, and less product quality loss.

We will continue to contribute to improving the efficiency of our customers' manufacturing activities and reducing energy consumption by providing highly energy efficient FA products and cutting-edge e-F@ctory solutions that integrate them.

Social issues for which risks and opportunities have been recognized and evaluated

icon: Focusing on the SDGs

Focusing on the SDGs

Major issues

  • Sustainable use and development of resources
  • Proper management of chemical substances
  • Addressing climate change
  • Measures against air, water, and soil pollution
  • Addressing the declining labor force population

Initiatives that Contribute to Addressing Social Issues

Developing FA Equipment, Industrial Robots, and Mechatronics Products that Achieve Automation of Customer Production Facilities and Improve Productivity and Product Quality

・MELSEC iQ-R Series Programmable Controllers

  • icons: SDGs #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • icons: SDGs #9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • icons: SDGs #13 Climate Action
photo: MELSEC iQ-R Series programmable controller

MELSEC iQ-R Series programmable controller

A newly developed high-speed system bus enables products of the MELSEC iQ-R Series to achieve a processing capacity 40 times greater than the MELSEC-Q Series. Furthermore, variation in control cycles has been minimized to ensure maximum stability in manufacturing quality by utilizing the synchronized operation of controllers connected via networks. This contributes to further improving the efficiency of production facilities and optimizing factory operations. In recent years, the application of programmable controllers has expanded to water treatment facilities, photovoltaic power generation systems, and electric power monitoring systems, thereby contributing to energy savings and environmental improvements for customers outside of the FA field.

・SF-PR Superline Premium Series Energy-Saving Motors

  • icons: SDGs #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • icons: SDGs #13 Climate Action
photo: SF-PR Superline Premium Series energy-saving motor

SF-PR Superline Premium Series energy-saving motor

If all of the approximately 100 million standard motors in Japan were replaced with highly efficient Top Runner*1-compliant motors (equivalent to IE3*2), calculations show that some 15.5 billion kWh of power usage could be saved annually. The same holds true for other countries as well, indicating the important role that IE3-compliant industrial motors will play in improving the natural environment in Japan and abroad. The Top Runner-compliant SF-PR Series was awarded the Japan Machinery Federation Chairman's Award at the fiscal 2015 (35th) Excellence in Energy-Conservation Equipment Awards as an induction motor applying cutting-edge, high-efficiency design technology.

  1. *1 Top Runner is a Japanese energy efficiency improvement program introduced in 1999.
  2. *2 IE3: Premium efficiency class under IEC60034-30, which classifies single-speed, three-phase, cage-induction motors into energy-efficiency classes.

・MELFA FR Series Industrial Robots

  • icons: SDGs #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • icons: SDGs #9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • icons: SDGs #13 Climate Action
photo: MELFAR Series industrial robot

MELFAR Series industrial robot

In response to the need for an efficient parts supply network, shorter startup times, and the flexibility to handle a variety of parts, we have developed intelligent technologies that use force sensors, 3D vision sensors, multifunctional electric hands, and more. Compared to conventional mass-production lines producing a single part, it is now possible to produce small lots of multiple items with improved productivity while simultaneously reducing the production area footprint, production efficiency and product quality have been improved even as system startup time has been reduced. We are continuously helping our customers reduce energy consumption through the optimization of their production systems.

・eX-F Series Fiber 2D Laser Processing Machines

  • icons: SDGs #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • icons: SDGs #9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • icons: SDGs #13 Climate Action
photo: eX-F Series fiber 2D laser processing machine

eX-F Series fiber 2D laser processing machine

eX-F Series 2D laser processing machines incorporate fiber laser technology to achieve superior oscillation efficiency. Various advanced features, such as Mitsubishi Electric's original high-efficiency servomotor, servo amplifier, and inverter-control cooling unit are included as well. Together they have achieved a 60% reduction in power consumption.*1 In addition, the Eco Mode setting, which stops machine functions in stages, reduces power consumption by as much as 70% during standby.*2 Energy-saving operation is further supported by the visualization of power and gas consumption via a monitor that displays energy use.

  1. *1 Compared to the Mitsubishi Electric ML3015eX-45CF-R 2D carbon dioxide laser processing machine
  2. *2 Compared to power consumption when not using Eco Mode

Providing e-F@ctory Solutions that Help Streamline Manufacturing and Reduce Energy Consumption

・e-F@ctory – Mitsubishi Electric’s Integrated FA Solution

  • icons: SDGs #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • icons: SDGs #9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • icons: SDGs #13 Climate Action

The primary goal of Mitsubishi Electric’s integrated FA solution, e-F@ctory, is to reduce the total cost of development, manufacturing, and maintenance processes. e-F@ctory utilizes sophisticated technologies and information management to optimize factory operations by improving productivity and quality and reducing energy consumption, thus shaping the factory model of the future. The e-F@ctory concept received the "2015 Frost & Sullivan Southeast Asia Enabling Technology Leadership Award."

diagram: e-F@ctory – Mitsubishi Electric’s integrated FA solution

e-F@ctory – Mitsubishi Electric’s integrated FA solution

Developing Instruments that Measure Energy and Control Power Distribution to Help Promote Energy Savings

・Eco Monitor Series Energy Measuring Units

  • icons: SDGs #13 Climate Action
photo: Eco Monitor Plus energy measuring unit

Eco Monitor Plus energy measuring unit

By installing our energy measuring units in switchboards and distribution boards, it is possible to measure various data such as energy consumption, voltage, and current. These units not only measure and analyze the overall energy consumption of factories and buildings, but also the individual energy consumption of departments, sections, lines, and equipment, and achieve efficient energy usage by managing the basic unit. This product won the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Prize at the 55th product contest held during the JECA FAIR 2016 organized by the Japan Electrical Construction Association.

・HDVA Molded-Case Circuit Breakers for DC Circuits (up to 1000 VDC)

  • icons: SDGs #13 Climate Action
photo: HDVA Series molded-case circuit breakers for DC circuits (up to 1000 VDC)

HDVA Series molded-case circuit breakers for DC circuits (up to 1000 VDC)

With the growth in construction of photovoltaic power generation systems, particularly mega-solar generators, direct current power delivery systems are being developed to increase power generation efficiency and reduce related costs. Mitsubishi Electric's HDVA Series direct-current, high-voltage, no-fuse circuit breakers contribute to the wider implementation of systems and facilities that are useful for achieving eco-conscious societies around the world. These include photovoltaic power generation systems and high-capacity storage batteries.

Reducing Environmental Impact at Business Sites

In addition to contributing to society through our business operations, we are striving to reduce the negative environmental impact stemming from our business activities. Some of the initiatives we are implementing are as follows.

Reducing CO2 during Production – Nagoya Works and FA Equipment Production Building

  • icons: SDGs #13 Climate Action

In 2013, we completed construction of a main production building that incorporates the latest equipment. We are continuously pursuing cutting-edge technologies to further increase energy savings.
(The results below are comparisons with energy-saving equipment introduced in 2008.)

  • Improved heating insulation of external walls, adoption of low-emissivity (Low-E) multilayered glass (multilayered glass with Low-E thermal barrier for high insulation)
  • Introduced Mitsubishi Electric's latest air-conditioning system, the Compact Cube e Series (cuts power consumption by 1,051,200 kWh per year)
  • Incorporated LED lighting systems with motion sensors (cuts power consumption by 24,700 kWh per year)
  • Introduced an energy management system that utilizes the e-F@ctory integrated FA solution to measure and control the power consumption of air-conditioning, lighting, and exhaust, as well as airflow

Reducing CO2 during Production – Fukuyama Works Smart Meter Production Building

  • icons: SDGs #13 Climate Action

The Fukuyama Works Smart Meter Production Building is in charge of producing smart meters, which are essential to the construction of next-generation energy networks. This facility has implemented the following measures in order to reduce CO2 emissions from production.

  • Reduced heat transfer by 84% on the rooftop and 42% through the walls by implementing full insulation measures and introducing a windowless structure for the production area
  • Achieved greater energy efficiency by preventing excessive heating and cooling onsite using a centrally managed City Multi air-conditioner system equipped with Move-Eye and controlled by the G-150AD Web-based central controller
  • Raised the efficiency of air-conditioner operations using an energy-efficient, compact, air-cooled heat-pump chiller
  • Achieved significant energy savings by installing LED lighting (650 straight tubes and 24 ceiling lights) in the building and roof overhangs (reduced energy consumption by 28,400 kWh/year and replacement cost by 370,000 yen/year)
  • Reduced energy consumption of lighting and air-conditioning systems by approximately 7% (total savings approximately 120,000 yen per year) through introduction of a Factory Energy Management System (FEMS) that provides optimal control of the lighting and air-conditioning energy used for production operations

Switching to More Efficient Equipment

  • icons: SDGs #13 Climate Action

We are in the process of systematically replacing aging utility equipment with more efficient models.

Achievement of Zero Emissions

  • icons: SDGs #12 Responsible Consumption and Production
  • icons: SDGs #13 Climate Action

We have achieved zero emissions at both Nagoya Works and Fukuyama Works.

Intensifying Chemical Substance Control and Environmental Risk Measures

  • icons: SDGs #12 Responsible Consumption and Production
  • icons: SDGs #13 Climate Action

In addition to expanding design and parts procurement overseas with a focus on emerging countries, we are promoting local production for local consumption. We are also intensifying chemical substance control measures in parts procurement and reducing environmental risk at overseas factories.
Regarding the management of chemical substances, we obtain a written guarantee that harmful chemical substances have not been used, and conduct analyses to determine if parts contain harmful substances as necessary.