Plant & Works Engineering
Intelligent automation platform
Published:  05 July, 2007

Mitsubishi has addressed today's business needs for more flexible, efficient and integrated processes with the introduction of the iQ Platform. This builds on the power of Mitsubishi"s Qn series programmable automation controller (PAC) with a range of control modules that interface directly with business information systems to deliver true top-to-bottom plant and enterprise control.

The iQ Platform achieves simple, effective integration of plant and business functions, from the shop floor to corporate commercial systems. Modular hardware allows control engineers to configure complete systems, without the need to involve IT specialists.

This adaptable control platform enables companies to take a strategic approach to automation and control, giving full integration of all business functions. The benefits include greater efficiencies in all aspects of the organisation, leading to cost savings.

The ability to monitor and control automation processes across many different functions within a business is key to achieving greater operational efficiency.

The iQ Platform is a high performance system that enables open communication between factory equipment and business processes. It uses common systems, protocols and networks to bring these functions together. This can be achieved using either a single communications network or alternatively through the integration of existing networks within the organisation.

The iQ Platform strategy revolves around the Qn series of PACs, coupled with powerful extensions and options modules designed to sit at the heart of plant processes. This enables total integration of control and communications from a single hardware platform. The control platform is highly scalable, being capable of accommodating anything from just a handful of I/O channels right up to several thousand.

Advanced hardware and software tools also deliver comprehensive production data management as part of the iQ Platform strategy. This provides a means of connecting data from the shop floor control systems to the management IT databases feeding the control and reporting systems. The MES connectivity makes it easy to track, measure and control critical production data and activities, providing information such as increased traceability, productivity and quality improvement.

Importantly, in devising the strategy for MES connectivity, Mitsubishi has recognised that MES systems vary greatly in scope and scale, from simple work-in-progress reporting right through to full end-to-end manufacturing control and monitoring. The iQ Platform is scalable to meet the requirements of all of these approaches.

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