Initiatives that contribute to addressing social challenges

Factory Automation Systems Group

Message from the Group President

Contributing to the Realization of a Sustainable Society through the Provision of Energy Saving Equipment and Solutions and the Utilization of Automation Technology at Production Sites

photo: Satoshi Takeda

Satoshi Takeda
Executive Officer, Group President,
Factory Automation Systems

The Factory Automation Systems Division is focused on enriching the lives of people around the world by contributing to co-innovation with industry and infrastructure customers through the use of technology.
Going forward, we will continue to contribute to solving social challenges, such as decarbonization and labor shortages, with the aim of realizing a sustainable society by providing production sites with energy-saving equipment and solutions that utilize automation technology.

1. Contributing to decarbonization by providing energy-saving equipment and solutions

Amid the growing demand for decarbonization related products, such as batteries, electric vehicles, and solar panels, we will contribute to manufacturers of those products by providing equipment, systems, and solutions with high energy saving capabilities for use in production equipment helping to reduce their overall energy consumption.

2. Contributing to measures to reduce the impact of labor shortages by utilizing automation technology

We will contribute to measures to reduce the impact of labor shortages by supporting customers in improving manufacturing efficiency through the utilization of automation technology.

Major social challenges for which risks and opportunities have been recognized and evaluated Priority SDG initiatives
  • Sustainable use and development of resources
  • Addressing climate change
  • Measures against air, water, and soil pollution
  • Addressing the declining labor force population
icon: Priority SDG initiatives

Initiatives that contribute to addressing social challenges

Support Customers to Automate their Production Facilities to Improve their Productivity and Product Quality through the Development of FA Equipment, Industrial Robots, and Mechatronics Products

・MELSEC iQ-R Series Programmable Controllers

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.

・MELSERVO-J5 Series AC Servo System

photo: MELSERVO-J5 Series AC servo system

MELSERVO-J5 Series AC servo system

The MELSERVO-J5 Series, which was the world's first servo system to support CC-Link IE TSN, a next-generation industrial open network, contribute to increasing the speed and precision of factory equipment. It utilizes regenerative electric power from the motor by using a multi-axis integrated amplifier and simple converter to achieve energy savings of up to 30%. The MELSERVO-J5 Series, which contributes to improved productivity of equipment and energy savings, was awarded the Good Design Award 2020.

・AC Servo Motor, HK Series

photo: AC Servo Motor, HK Series

AC Servo Motor, HK Series

In recent years the trend to convert factories into smart factories has been accelerating, and there are expectations of further production improvements to be gained by the wider use of servo motors. The HK series of AC Servo motors has reduced the demand on material resources (magnets, copper, and steel) by 20 to 60% compared to existing motors yet still delivers industry-leading* performance and the smallest sizes*, being 20% smaller than the industries smallest class, but still incorporates a battery-less absolute position encoder as standard. In light of these advances the HK Series was awarded the "Agency for Natural Resources and Energy Commissioner's Award" in the field of "Energy Saving Equipment and Systems."

  1. * According to Mitsubishi Electric research as of January 2021

・MELFA FR Series Industrial Robots

photo: MELFA FR Series industrial robot

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.

・GX-F Series 2D Fiber Laser Processing Machines

photo: GX-F Series 2D fiber laser processing machine

GX-F Series 2D fiber laser processing machine

GX-F Series incorporate Mitsubishi Electric's new proprietary fiber laser oscillator and the AI Assist technology for automatically adjusting machining conditions by AI to contribute to improved productivity and maintenance of sheet metal processing. The high affinity between the new proprietary fiber laser oscillator and the laser processing machine enables optimal control according to the increase in the acceleration of the processing machine, improving productivity by 20%. In addition, the AI Assist technology incorporated into this laser processing machine has improved the processing stability during continuous automatic operation. Energy-saving operation is further supported by the visualization of power and gas consumption via a monitor that displays its use.

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

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

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

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.

・EX-α Series Transformer Using Super High Efficiency Oil

photo: EX-α Series Transformer using super high efficiency oil

EX-α Series Transformer using super high efficiency oil

Distribution transformers are designated as specified equipment under the Energy Saving Law, and the enforcement of the Second Top Runner Standards in fiscal 2015 requires further improvement in their environmental performance. Mitsubishi Electric's EX-α Series transformer using super high efficiency oil achieves approximately 140%* in energy savings based on the Second Top Runner Standards thanks to the use of the amorphous iron core and design optimization for the winding and internal structure. With the highest energy savings performance among our products, the EX-α Series transformer significantly contributes to the reduction of annual electricity consumed and CO2 emissions.

  1. * The figure varies depending on the specification of the transformer.