The e-Factory Concept

Mitsubishi Electric has presented a spectrum of integrated automation components and services, described as an “e factory” for the journey toward Industry 4.0. Unveiled at the SPS IPC Drives Expo 2016, it was developed to help companies explore new solutions for the automation and digitalization of industrial processes.

Mitsubishi Electric also has established the e F@ctory Alliance, a network of more than 300 companies working together on value chain enhancement. Solutions developed with partner companies include advances in smart PLCs, robots, servo systems, single-platform PLC-based CNC control and network technologies.

One example from Mitsubishi and APT Automation is a linear transfer system with smart carriage technology. This provides integrated intelligence and power for on-board carriage equipment. It also supports switching between parallel production line tracks, allowing multiple operations on different products. With official launch scheduled for 2017, it promises to boost production flexibility, enabling manufacturers to meet customer demands for smaller batch sizes and increased customization.

About the Author

Abigail Saltmarsh is a freelance journalist with 25 years’ experience for industry publications (Packaging Europe) and national magazines (The New York Times, International Herald Tribune).

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