22 Jul 2024


Mitsubishi takes stake in motion software developer Movensys

Movensys supports several industrial communications systems including CC-Link IE TSN, EtherCat and Mechatrolink-4.

Mitsubishi Electric has formed a partnership with the Korean company, Movensys, which develops motion control software for AC servomotors and sells it mainly in Asia. The partnership, which includes Mitsubishi taking an equity stake in Movensys, will strengthen collaboration between the two companies’ AC servo and motion control businesses.

In recent years, the use of industrial computers for motion control applications in AC servo businesses has grown rapidly, especially for semiconductor and electronic component manufacturing. The evolution of industrial-computer CPUs is leading to more advanced motion control capabilities, such as high-speed synchronous control of multiple motors, for which demand is expected to continue growing.

Mitsubishi Electric sells high-speed, precision AC servo systems that are used to improve productivity. Movensys’ computer-based motion control software for AC servomotors enables stable, real-time control via high-speed synchronous communication without needing dedicated hardware. Movensys claims that its software-based controllers can deliver cost savings of 30-50% compared to hardware-based motion controls.

Through the new partnership, Mitsubishi aims to expand its AC servo business targeting semiconductor manufacturing and other applications by incorporating Movensys’ technologies and capabilities. Movensys expects to use Mitsubishi’s global sales network to expand its sales of motion control software, which enables multiple-motor synchronous controls without dedicated hardware. Together, they will leverage each other’s resources and technological strengths to advance the evolution of smart factories and help increase productivity.

“Software-based motion control – a field in which Movensys possesses advanced proprietary technologies – offers promising potential to enhance performance thanks to the ongoing evolution of computers,” say Toshie Takeuchi, president of Mitsubishi Electric’s Factory Automation Systems Group. “Moreover, this type of solution is attracting attention among manufacturers because it can realise multi-axis motion positioning control without requiring dedicated hardware.

“Combining our products with the motion control technologies of Movensys, we expect to help customers reduce their TCO (total cost of ownership) by using diverse equipment and systems, improve their productivity, and contribute to circular digital-engineering business for factory automation.”

“Since its foundation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, Movensys has always developed technology that is ahead of its time,” adds Movensys’ founder and chairperson, Boo-Ho Yang. “The feature of our latest software-based motion controller products is soft motion technology that enables high-speed, high-precision motion control by CPUs on PC without dedicated hardware. The technology is already being used by many semiconductor manufacturing equipment manufacturers.

“By connectability to CC-Link IE TSN proposed by Mitsubishi Electric as well as EtherCat, we have achieved a true fusion of IT and OT,” he continues. “We will continue to provide products that contribute to cost reduction, performance improvement and smartening of our customers’ manufacturing equipment through constant technological innovation.”

Movensys began life in 1996 as a next-generation CNC soft motion project at Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US. It was established in the US as Soft Servo Systems in 1998, with a Japanese branch opening in 2006. In 2014, it released WMX – a 64-axis Windows-based motion controller combined with soft motion technology and EtherCat. Two years later, WMX2 arrived, supporting more motion control profiles, including industrial robots. In 2020, it received an investment from Crescendo Equity Partners and in 2021 changed its name to Movensys. Last year, it formed a partnership with the US start-up Skylla Technologies to develop a platform that integrates PLCs, navigation and robot control technologies for AMRs (autonomous mobile robots).

Movensys has operations in the US, Japan and China, as well as Korea. It employs 54 people.

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