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Schaeffler and Mitsubishi join forces on digitalisation

07 May, 2019

Mitsubishi Electric and Schaeffler Technologies have formed a global strategic partnership that will build on existing collaborations between the two companies under Mitsubishi’s e-F@ctory Alliance, which they have both been members of since 2010.

“Over the past few years, we’ve successfully carried out joint projects in various countries in Europe and Asia,” explains Noriyuki Shimizu, corporate executive group vice-president in Mitsubishi’s Factory Automation Systems Group. “Now, we intend to intensify and expand our collaboration on a global level.”

Schaeffler will contribute its expertise in using mechatronic products, condition-monitoring systems and digital services to form application-specific Industry 4.0 packages to help cut machine downtime and boost productivity. Mitsubishi will contribute its factory automation and processing knowhow and technologies such as PLCs, inverters, robots, servodrives and HMIs. Together they will help end-users to integrate machine and plant data into MES (manufacturing execution systems) and ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems.

One example where the two companies have already collaborated allows vibration sensors to communicate bidirectionally with Mitsubishi PLCs and to transmit variables using the SLMP (seamless message protocol) machine protocol used by Schaeffler in its condition-monitoring systems. The PLCs can process the data to produce plain-text messages on a display. An additional level of integration allows the condition-monitoring system to be connected to PLCs via network cables and the Modbus protocol.

Schaeffler and Mitsubishi Electric executives at the announcement of their strategic partnership which took place during the Hannover Fair

Dr Stefan Spindler, Schaeffler’s industrial CEO, predicts that with the partners’ joint technological expertise, “we’ll be able to offer intelligent solutions tailored to customer and market requirements to optimise manufacturing operations and equipment lifecycle costs.”

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