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Mitsubishi Electric Asia, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, has announced its collaboration with leading partners and experts to form the first strategic partnership in Singapore, e-F@ctory Alliance, which aims to help companies embark on a journey towards developing the Internet of Things (IoT) and digital transformation. Hosted by the Factory Automation division of Mitsubishi Electric Asia, the Alliance saw more than 20 companies present at the inaugural ceremony, including Advantech, Hitachi Asia, Oracle and SATO Asia Pacific, among others.

At the ceremony, Mr Takeshi Oshima, President of Mitsubishi Electric Asia, said that the manufacturing and logistics sectors are changing with the penetration of Industrial IoT (IIoT) in manufacturing processes and across supply chains, bringing a considerable impact on a company’s ecosystem. The IIoT has been expanding due to the worldwide rise in IoT technology development and implementation in the past few years. “We recognise that the adoption of IoT presents unparalleled opportunities of transformation across industries, and this partnership is the first step in reshaping the future of manufacturing. Mitsubishi Electric Asia’s e-F@ctory Alliance programme signals the importance of incorporating IIoT elements into business models and contributing to future business decisions and success,” said Mr Oshima.

Mitsubishi Electric Asia’s e-F@ctory Alliance taps on the application of IIoT technologies in business by extending the factory automation network in Singapore and expanding to ASEAN countries. “The programme utilises Mitsubishi Electric’s e-F@ctory advanced technologies and leverages the expertise of Alliance partners to develop applications with integration of modern cloud computing, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data analytics and self-optimising industrial equipment and facilities for companies to deploy impactful and large-scale automation of production,” Mr Oshima shared.

Through the Alliance programme, Mitsubishi Electric Asia and key partners introduce their products and efficiently create systems that incorporate devices or machines from different makers. This arrangement allows local clients to customise systems that meet their specific needs. “IIoT uses IoT technologies to connect machines and devices, creating an open technology framework that will support the development of smart factory offerings, greater customisation and digital upgrades. Such innovation adoption helps companies to improve production quality and uptime, as the data gathered from devices and sensors on the platform enable real-time and predictive maintenance across the whole process,” Mr Oshima said.

Using IIoT information, employees are able to capture crucial data in real-time, expediting the decision-making process and improving system performance.

Mitsubishi Electric Asia’s Factory Automation division is working with more than 20 companies to deliver more sophisticated and revenue-driven solutions to accelerate client businesses. Certificates of partnership were presented at the ceremony to approved strategic partners as a recognition of their commitment to championing client success.

Mr Toshiya Takahashi, Corporate Executive & Senior Vice President of Factory Automation Systems Group, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, who was present at the ceremony, introduced Mitsubishi Electric’s e-F@ctory – a digital platform that offers value-added IoT-based services and solutions for manufacturing and process industry sectors to achieve high productivity and quality improvements. The first e-F@ctory Alliance programme was rolled out in Japan in 2011, and more than 700 companies have since joined this global eco-system, with over 10,000 e-F@ctory systems installed around the world. “Over the years, Mitsubishi Electric e-F@ctory Alliance has evolved and expanded its presence across China, Taiwan, Korea, Europe, and this year being the year of Asia Pacific, we focus on Thailand and Singapore as manufacturing business has been growing exponentially in this region,” said Mr Takahashi.

“Garnering the support and demand from local companies plays a major role in forming strong alliances, and with Singapore being positioned as the region’s Big Data hub, I am sure that our Alliance programme would come in handy to help manufacturers to accelerate IIoT developments,” he added.

“We welcome the e-F@ctory Alliance programme inaugurated by Mitsubishi Electric Asia in Singapore. The Alliance programme will support the increasing opportunities for companies, academic institutions and individuals to co-develop innovative solutions for the industrial IoT space. This move is in line with Singapore’s efforts to drive the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies, help manufacturers create smart factories of the future, as well as create good job opportunities for Singaporeans,” said Ms Fong Pin Fen, Director, Advanced Manufacturing, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

Another distinguished guest was His Excellency Mr Jun Yamazaki, Ambassador of Japan to Singapore, who lauded the successful launch of the e-F@ctory Alliance and extended his appreciation for the collaborative efforts between Singapore and Japan, that reflect the strong bilateral ties built through economic, diplomatic and cultural exchanges, and now within the manufacturing sector as well. “The e-F@ctory Alliance will help to promote business innovation. Not only manufacturers will benefit from it; educational institutions such as Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) are also leveraging on this programme to help their students and industry personnel to stay relevant in this data-driven world,” he said in his speech.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NYP was signed at the ceremony as a symbol of its continuing collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric Asia to help build future generations through innovative education. Ms Jeanne Liew, Principal and CEO of NYP, said, “We started collaborating with Mitsubishi Electric Asia in 2015. Since the set-up of the e-F@ctory Application Centre at our School of Engineering, we have worked closely with the company to equip our learners with the knowledge and skills needed by leveraging Mitsubishi Electric’s latest automation solutions. With this renewed partnership, we are happy to be able to further enhance their learning through real world exposure to advanced technologies, like smart monitoring and artificial intelligence. Such opportunities will give them an edge in managing the growing technology disruptions in today’s digital manufacturing landscape.”

In the new MOU, Mitsubishi Electric Asia will be working closely with NYP to help develop manpower capabilities and specialist skills in the areas of smart monitoring and artificial intelligence technologies in a digital factory environment.

Industries such as manufacturers, enterprises and even public schools are gearing up to spur innovation through IoT transformation. Mitsubishi Electric Asia’s e-F@ctory Alliance is racing to reinforce its foothold in IIoT services, through forging strong alliances with key partners to help companies embrace the digital evolution and deliver solid, sustained value for their business models.

 

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