Servo, drive, motion controller

Product Exclusive: Mitsubishi Electric’s new MR-J4 Series Servo and Motion Controller boosts productivity with speed, safety, and performance.


The new MR-J4 Series servo amplifier and motor family is Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s latest product innovation. Introduced nearly 20 years ago, the MR-J series is Mitsubishi Electric’s flagship family of high-performance servo systems. The newest generation, the MR-J4 series, is a culmination of two decades of research and development, technological advancements, and product refinements.

Product Exclusive: Mitsubishi Electric’s new MR-J4 Series Servo and Motion Controller boosts productivity with speed, safety, and performance.In motion control, speed is essential to achieving maximum machine throughput. As its predecessor, the MR-J4 maintains the distinguishing characteristic of being the fastest servo in the world by increasing its frequency response speed time to 2,500 Hz, the company said. This feature reduces settling times to less than 2 msec, maximizing machine performance and throughput for machine builders and end users.

In addition to speed, accuracy, and precision, the MR-J4 also offers new safety features for improved operator safety. Modular architecture provides a redundant two-channel STO (Safe Torque Off) input as a standard on all MR-J4 amplifiers. This can be augmented by an additional option module to provide SS1 (Safe Stop) input in line with EN61800-5-2. The system configuration also supports SIL2 (EN62061) and PLd (EN13849-1). For more advanced systems and the highest level of safety (SS2, SOS, SLS, SBC, and SSM), Mitsubishi Electric’s MR-J4B amplifiers and motion controllers with safety module are used in combination. This flexibility means that users can reduce costs by creating a system configuration to meet safety requirements for the target applications.

In addition to the MR-J4A (analog/pulse train) and MR-J4B (SSCNET III/H motion network) models, the MR-J4 series also includes two additional versions for two- and three-axis operation amplifiers. A more compact and efficient solution than using three servo amplifiers, this approach saves the machine manufacturer money in energy costs, lowers CO2 emissions, and saves on cabinet and panel space.

The servo family touts significant cost savings with bus speeds three times faster with SSCNET III/H (Serial Servo to Motion Network), fewer connections, less wiring, and reduced energy consumption due to an increase of re-usable, regenerated energy when using the three-axis model.

The MR-J4 servo is supported by Mitsubishi Electric’s iQ Works integrated engineering software suite which provides programmable logic controller (PLC), motion, and HMI programming and development in a single software package.

With the introduction of the new MR-J4 series and corresponding positioning modules and high-end motion control systems, Mitsubishi Electric offers a servo solution which will enable machine manufacturers and end users to improve their machine building process, boost productivity, and add more safety functions, while guaranteeing ease of operation and commissioning.

Note: Available models in the first phase of the release: 200 V only, 50 W-7 kW

Differentiating features include:

  • Leads the world with fastest speed frequency time of 2,500 Hz. This helps customers to reduce the settling time less than 2 msec.
  • One-touch, real-time adaptive auto tuning and quick setup: When machine builders click one icon in the servo setup software, the amp automatically tunes itself. Servo gains will change on the fly when the load on the machine changes, so there is no need to re-tune the machine for different load options.
  • All HG series motors come with 22-bit absolute encoders as standard, providing a resolution of more than 4 million pulses per revolution, for excellent rotational accuracy and optimum positioning accuracy.
  • SSCNET III/H (Serial Servo to Motion Network) 150 Mbps results in very high synchronization of servo axis, higher performance, and machine and data diagnostics.
  • Vibration suppression control II function provides higher dynamic response on the machine with minimal tuning results. The significant decrease in vibration extends the life of the machine.
  • MR-J4 amplifiers have a “life diagnosis function” that monitors the actual condition of the components installed inside the amplifiers, such as capacitors and relays, through the life of the product. This function detects not only electrical parts, but also faulty machine parts (ball screw, guide ways, bearing, belt, etc.) by analyzing machine friction, load moment of inertia, unbalanced torque, and changes in the vibration component from the data inside the servo amplifier, supporting timely maintenance of the driving parts on the machine.

Benefits summary:

  • Greatly reduce engineering time and costs by reusing engineering practices
  • Fewer components minimize initial hardware purchases
  • One software package to program motion, PLC, and HMI
  • Fewer connections significantly reduce labor required for wiring
  • Increased system reliability makes start-up faster and easier
  • Troubleshooting is easier, with detailed drive and motor status information available on the MR-J4 amplifiers and also in the software

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager CFE Media, Control Engineering and Plant Engineering,

Mitsubishi Electric Automation 

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.