Preview: Mitsubishi iQ controls sequence, motion, process, CNC, robotics; has connectivity

Mitsubishi Electric Automation previews its new iQ Automation platform (available January 2009) at PackExpo and International Manufacturing Technology Show. OEMs and end users asked for….


Vernon Hills, IL– Mitsubishi Electric Automation will preview its new iQ Automation platform at 2008 fall trade shows targeting machine builders, such as PackExpo and the International Machine Tool Show (IMTS). The new platform will be available in January 2009, but the company gave Control Engineering a preview of what users can expect from the new offerings, including better data integration and more connectivity to third-party systems.
Mitsubishi polled its OEM and end user customers to find out exactly what they were looking for. “Our customers face the same challenges Mitsubishi Electric faces. We are a global manufacturer supplying automation products throughout the world. Our customers are demanding an unprecedented level of automation integration. They are looking for a platform that will significantly reduce their total cost of ownership,” said Sloan Zupan, product marketing manager.
Mitsubishi found that users of controllers cited three main pain points, which the iQ Automation platform seeks to address:
1. Great expense and time is spent on projects that link information technology with manufacturing . “IT professionals are challenged with how to reduce risk and budget overruns associated with plant floor integration projects,” says Zupan. “Providing a uniform method of sharing information between the various systems is no longer a challenge. Customers who have previewed the iQ Automation platform in conjunction with our integrated enterprise connectivity appliance are impressed with the simplicity of the configuration environment, the granularity of the security and the flexibility to future change that the solution provides,” he added.
2. “There are many types of control being used within a single manufacturing facility . Customers have equipment with CNC, robotic, sequence, process and other control disciplines. These systems traditionally require their own architecture. Significant effort is spent designing, implementing and supporting these different systems which drives up the total cost of ownership. iQ Automation provides a single platform that can be used for every imaginable control discipline, with common communication interfaces, I/O and software tools to help manage the automation assets throughout the entire life cycle,” explained Zupan.
3. “Customers have tried to implement solutions based on open standards like Ethernet ,” says Zupan. “Ethernet has been implemented differently by automation suppliers. CLPA (CC-Link Partner Association recently launched CC-Link IE, which is an open gigabit fiber optic Ethernet controller level network. CC-Link IE provides the bandwidth needed to accommodate the ever increasing need to share information between manufacturing assets,” he adds.
Zupan says, “The new iQ Automation platform, planned to be released in January 2009, leverages the very successful Q Series platform. The iQ Automation platform now integrates CNC and robotic control with sequence, motion, process, c language and PC based controls for a single user experience.”
Zupan continues, “iQ Works software suite is an integrated engineering environment providing our customers with a common tag database, security, simulation and troubleshooting of the entire system. The integrated system is designed to be used by customers throughout a machine’s lifecycle. You can use a product called MELSOFT Navigator, a component of iQ Works, to design automation systems and networks. The drag and drop interface makes designing a system simple and intuitive. iQ Works provides customers with powerful tools like simulation, diagnostics and revision control. The environment lends itself to reuse of applications and allows a system to be designed, operated and supported concurrently by multiple people.” He adds, “Customers will be able to provide solutions more quickly and with more consistency. This will create a competitive advantage for our customers.”
iQ Automation products will be on display at key trade shows in Chicago: the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) , Sept. 8-13, and PackExpo International , Nov. 9-13.
For more information on the Q Series and iQ Automation products, please visit

–  Renee Robbins , senior editor
Control Engineering Information Control eNewsletter
Register here and scroll down to select your choice of free eNewsletters .

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.