Industry 4.0 Summit highlights plant floor to IT level integration

Mitsubishi Electric

Mitsubishi Electric enjoyed a successful inaugural Industry 4.0 Summit at the Manchester Central Convention Centre recently, demonstrating an appetite for advancing factory automation technology from a wide range of industries.

At the event Mitsubishi Electric Senior Solutions Consultant Thomas Lantermann presented a paper on vision technology within Industry 4.0 and the integration of test beds using Mitsubishi Electric’s advanced iQ automation platform. Other experts from the Mitsubishi Electric team then went on to demonstrate Industry 4.0 solutions to UK and international delegates.

The Mitsubishi Electric stand within the Factories of the Future section of the event highlighted real-world Industry 4.0 solutions. Showing, for example, a high speed robot in a demo manufacturing cell exchanging real-time production information to an enterprise level platform via an iQ PLC. The robot cell highlighted not only how easy it is to integrate plant floor automation systems with business systems, but how manufacturers can use the information flow between the two to optimise production and reduce downtime.

Two further demonstrations followed this theme: A Mitsubishi Electric ‘pick to light’ Guided Operator Solution was implemented on the stand, highlighting not only how this could reduce operator errors in picking parts for assemblies, but also how this picking information could be transmitted to higher level systems – enabling companies to collect inventory data and monitor statistical production information.

Alongside this was a second example highlighting an integrated approach to predictive maintenance. Mitsubishi Electric demonstrated how it has introduced the concept of drive-based condition monitoring, via the integration of Smart Condition Monitoring (SCM) technology into the FR-A800 inverter range. Condition monitoring data from different assets can be processed within the inverter’s in-built PLC to provide detailed diagnostics and analysis, and sent to higher-level systems for ongoing trend analysis.

Chris Evans, Marketing and Operations Group Manager at Mitsubishi Electric, comments:

“Mitsubishi Electric’s e-F@ctory concept for delivering Industry 4.0 compatible solutions, scalable from sensor/actuator level right up to full IT integration and beyond to the Cloud gives users the tools they need to boost productivity, minimise waste, reduce energy usage, minimise downtime and improve OEE, with immediate transparency on true cost per part.

“We know how important this is, however, there hasn’t been an event like this in the UK before, and the fact that it attracted delegates from all over the world, underlines the importance of Industry 4.0 and how it can be applied to businesses to address today’s and future manufacturing challenges.”