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Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG announced a global strategic partnership as part of the e-F@ctory Alliance network. Since 2010 both companies have been partners in the e-F@ctory Alliance, which is part of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation’s e-F@ctory Concept. This concept supports companies with measures within the framework of the digital transformation, such as the integration of machine and plant data into MES (manufacturing execution systems) and ERP (enterprise resource planning systems).

Industry 4.0 scenarios are characterised by highly individualised products in very flexible manufacturing conditions. Along with production technology, Industry 4.0 also comprises digitally connecting components and machines. Dr. Stefan Spindler, CEO Industrial of Schaeffler AG, explained: “To provide Industry 4.0 solutions with substantial added value for the customer we need collaboration across different companies. With the technological expertise and systems know-how of Schaeffler and Mitsubishi Electric teamed up in this global strategic partnership, we will be able to offer intelligent solutions tailored to customer and market requirements to optimise manufacturing operations and equipment lifecycle costs.”

Mr. Noriyuki Shimizu, Executive Officer and General Manager of Factory Automation Overseas Division at Mitsubishi Electric, added: “Over the last years, we have successfully carried out joint projects in various countries in Europe and Asia. Now, we intend to intensify and expand our collaboration on a global level.” Schaeffler and Mitsubishi Electric collaborate to boost connectivity and to create Industry 4.0 solutions that reduce machine downtime and maximise productivity for the customer. For example, the machine protocol SLMP (seamless message protocol) implemented in Schaeffler condition monitoring systems enables vibration sensors to communicate bidirectionally with Mitsubishi Electric’s programmable logic controller and to transmit the characteristic values determined. The PLC processes the data into information, which is prepared as plain text messages and shown on a display. An additional integration level also allows the condition monitoring system to be connected with the PLC of the relevant plant via a network cable and Modbus protocol.

Schaeffler contributes concepts that combine mechatronic products, condition monitoring systems, and digital services to form application-specific 4.0 solution packages. These provide the basis for the creation of customised products and services whose main focus is always on the effectiveness of the overall system.

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation offers a vast range of factory automation and processing technologies, including programmable logical controllers (PLC), inverters, robots, servo-drives and HMI, helping to bring higher productivity and quality to the factory floor.

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