The environment and business

Factory Automation Systems Group

Business Overview and Environmental Issues for Which Risks and Opportunities Have Been Recognized and Evaluated

Helping Customers in the Manufacturing Industry to Enhance Their Competitiveness

The Factory Automation Systems Group provides customers in the manufacturing industry with a wide range of products and solutions in the field of industrial mechatronics, including factory automation controllers, drive products, energy-saving support products, equipment in the field of electric power distribution control and processing machines.

The Factory Automation Systems Group has domestic manufacturing bases in Nagoya and Fukuyama, and overseas bases in China, Southeast Asia, and India. We are expanding overseas procurement and production as part of efforts to strengthen our global business network. At the same time, we are intensifying chemical substances control in the parts and materials procurement process and environmental management at factories. In addition, we are helping the businesses of our customers in Japan and overseas to improve their added value and competitiveness through products and services with better energy-saving performance. These activities are underway at our sales and service bases in Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, India, the US, Europe, and South America.

Environmental Issues for Which Risks and Opportunities Have Been Recognized and Evaluated

  • Climate change
  • Depletion of mineral resources
  • Proper management of chemical substances
  • Air, water, and soil pollution

Message from Factory Automation Systems Group

Delivering Devices, Equipment, and Solutions That Help Reduce Energy Usage during Production to Customers around the World

photo: Yoshikazu Miyata

Yoshikazu Miyata
Executive Officer
In Charge of Factory Automation Systems Group

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

By optimizing the utilization of factory automation technologies cultivated by Mitsubishi Electric and cooperative technologies that connect factory automation 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, and strongly support manufacturing and management optimization. Connecting devices and facilities by the Internet of Things (IoT) to analyze and utilize data, we will provide e-F@ctory solutions that optimize overall manufacturing. We also contribute to energy savings, one of our goals, by making ongoing improvements using e-F@ctory solutions.

In addition, we verify productivity and facility utilization ratios through the operation of an "e-F@ctory model plant" at the 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 our customers' manufacturing activities by providing highly energy-efficient factory automation products and cutting-edge e-F@ctory solutions that integrate factory automation products.

Initiatives Contributing to the Environment and Society

Climate change Mitsubishi Integrated FA Solution, e-F@ctory

The primary goal of the 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 through improved productivity, quality, and energy consumption, thus shaping the factory model of the future. The e-F@ctory received the "2015 Frost & Sullivan Southeast Asia Enabling Technology Leadership Award."

diagram: Mitsubishi integrated FA solution, e-F@ctory

Mitsubishi integrated FA solution, e-F@ctory

Climate change Programmable Controller MELSEC iQ-R Series

photo: Programmable controller MELSEC iQ-R series

Programmable controller MELSEC iQ-R series

A newly developed high-speed system bus enables 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 controllers has expanded to water treatment facilities, photovoltaic power generation systems, and electric power monitoring systems, also contributing to energy savings and environmental improvements for customers outside of the FA field.

Climate change Fiber 2D Laser Processing Machines eX-F Series

photo: Fiber 2D laser processing machines eX-F series

Fiber 2D laser processing machines eX-F series

The eX-F Series incorporates fiber laser technology into our Fiber 2D Laser Processing Machines eX Series to achieve superior oscillation efficiency. It includes various advanced features, such as Mitsubishi Electric's original high-efficiency servomotor, servo amplifier, and inverter-control cooling unit. This has 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 two-dimensional carbon dioxide laser processing machine
  2. *2 Compared to power consumption without using Eco Mode

Climate change Industrial Robot MELFA FR Series

photo: Industrial robot MELFA FR series

Industrial robot MELFA FR series

In response to the need for an efficient parts supply network, shorter startup time, 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, productivity has been improved, the production area footprint has been reduced, and production efficiency and product quality have been improved even as system startup time has been reduced. We contribute to reducing energy consumption through the optimization of customers' production systems.

Climate change Energy­-Saving Motor
SF­-PR Superline Premium Series

photo: Energy-saving motor SF-PR superline premium series energy-saving motor

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-compliant motors (equivalent to IE3*), 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 natural environments 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.

  • * IE3: Premium efficiency class under IEC60034-30, which classifies single-speed, three-phase, cage-induction motors into energy-efficiency classes.

Climate change Energy Measuring Unit Eco-Monitor Series

photo: Energy measuring units EcoMonitorPlus

Energy measuring units

By installing our energy measuring unit in switchboards and distribution boards, it is possible to measure various data such as energy consumption, voltage, and current. This unit not only measures and analyzes the overall energy consumption of factories and buildings, but also the individual energy consumption of departments, sections, lines, and equipment, and achieves efficient energy usage by managing the basic unit. The 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.

Climate change Molded Case Circuit Breakers for DC Circuit (up to 1000VDC) HDVA Series

photo: Molded case circuit breakers for DC circuit (up to 1000VDC) HDVA series

Molded case circuit breakers for DC circuit (up to 1000VDC)
HDVA series

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 power costs. Mitsubishi Electric's HDVA Series direct-current high-voltage fuseless circuit breakers contribute to the wider implementation of systems and facilities that are useful in the achievement of an eco-conscious society. These include photovoltaic power generation systems and high-capacity storage batteries.

Initiatives for Reducing Environmental Impact

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

In 2013, we completed construction of a main production building making use of the latest equipment. We in constant pursuit of cutting-edge energy-savings.
(The results below are comparisons with energy-saving equipment introduced in 2008.)

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

Climate change Reducing CO2 during Production – Fukuyama Works Smart Meter Production Building

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

  • Reducing heat transfer by 84% for the rooftop and 42% for the wall through full insulation measures and adopting a windowless structure for the production area
  • Achieving greater energy efficiency by preventing excessive heating and cooling onsite using a centrally managing a City Multi air conditioner system with Move-Eye equipped with the G-150AD Web-based central controller
  • Raising the efficiency of air conditioner operations by using an energy-efficient, compact air-cooled heat pump chiller
  • Achieving significant energy savings by installing LED lighting (650 straight tubes and 24 ceiling lights) on the building's interior and roof overhangs (reducing energy consumption by 28,400kWh/year and reducing replacement costs by 370,000 yen/year)
  • Further reducing energy consumption from lighting and air conditioning by approximately 7% (total savings approximately 120,000 yen per year) by means of a FEMS (Factory Energy Management System), which provides optimal control through linked production of lighting and air conditioning energy.

Climate change Switching to More Efficient Equipment

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

Climate Change Air, water, and soil pollution Achievement of Zero Emissions

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

Climate Change Proper management of chemical substances Intensifying Chemical Substance Control and Environmental Risk Measures

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.