Mitsubishi Electric Automation Debuts iQ Automation Platform
Mitsubishi Electric Automation, a world leader in industrial automation solutions, today introduced its iQ Automation integrated control system platform — which may be the fastest and most versatile solution in the industry — at the 12th Annual ARC Forum in Orlando. iQ Automation is the next generation of Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s highly successful automation systems based on the Q Series Automation Platform, a revolutionary architecture that helped define the category known as the “Programmable Automation Controller” (PAC).
At the heart of iQ Automation is the ability to unify any key automation discipline with any other while providing an intuitive set of graphical tools (iQ Works) for productive development and maintenance. What’s more, iQ Automation takes the Q Series’ industry-leading integration of sequence, motion, process and PC-based control even further by adding CNC and robot control to the same compact, industrially hardened platform.
“IQ Automation meets the key goals of today’s manufacturers,” said John Browett, product marketing manager, Mitsubishi Electric Automation. “First, there is a need to drive down costs, which iQ does by standardizing all control systems to a unified set of components. Second, increasing interaction with IT support applications means control systems must handle ever larger data volumes much more quickly.
“Mitsubishi Electric products have always defined superior control performance and iQ elevates it further, but more importantly, iQ adds the data handling performance and ease of integration that manufacturers need to minimize their total cost of ownership.”
Adding to Q Series ability to integrate sequence, process, motion, and PC control on a single backplane, iQ breaks new ground by adding CNC and robot control. This approach eliminates the engineering work needed to integrate disparate control disciplines within the same system. A common set of all other system components shared across the line, such as network interfaces, I/O modules and power supplies, standardizes the required knowledge base and reduces spares investment.
“Manufacturers continue to look for automation platforms that consolidate the multiple control domains required by their processes,” said Craig Resnick, research director, ARC Advisory Group and author of the PAC definition. “Mitsubishi Electric has pushed the envelope of the ARC definition of a PAC by the fact that the iQ Automation’s backplane has been designed with significant bandwidth to accommodate multiprocessor architectures for high-speed, inter-processor communications.
“The net benefit for the manufacturer in applying PACs with this increased bandwidth includes reduced investment and operating costs, along with enhanced throughput and quality of their manufactured products that characterizes lean and efficient production operations.”
iQ Works is the complementary integrated development environment for iQ Automation that can be used to develop and maintain complete systems, regardless of their control discipline. Thus, even a system that integrates motion, sequence and other components such as HMI can be managed with iQ Works, which combines these tools under a single, seamless graphical front end that intuitively guides the owner or technician through system configuration, development and maintenance.
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