Earlier this year one of the world’s biggest electrical groups celebrated an anniversary: In February 2002 Mitsubishi Electric looked back on 80 successful years of business. “Our spectrum ranges from semiconductor manufacturing to communications technology to satellite systems. This gives us access to a concentrated pool of expertise from a very large number of different fields of application and basic research,” explains Haruo Kawasaki, Manager Overseas, when asked about the company’s recipe for success.
The Industrial Automation division is a particularly noteworthy chapter of this success story - Mitsubishi Electric is a world market leader in this sector.
The Japanese industrial concern, which established its European headquarters in Ratingen, Germany, in 1978, has a long and proud history as a successful global player in industrial automation: figures like around 117 000 employees worldwide and a turnover of nearly R380 billion in 2001 speak for themselves. "Our expertise in a very wide range of high-tech areas is decisive for our ability to consistently develop and deliver exceptionally high-performance products that combine outstanding reliability with extremely compact dimensions," explains overseas manager Haruo Kawasaki, who is also responsible for marketing in the Industrial Automation division.
Among other things, Mitsubishi Electric's Industrial Automation division develops, manufactures and markets programmable logic controllers (PLCs), industrial robots and drive system solutions. All these products are characterised by outstanding quality, reliability and user-friendliness. The design philosophy behind the company's compact robots and PLC systems is as simple as it is demanding: 'Maximum quality in minimum dimensions.' Powerful and compact, they are claimed to be the most successful products of their kind on the market: Since it started its activities in Europe, Mitsubishi Electric's Industrial Automation division has achieved two-digit growth figures every year.
As the first manufacturer of compact PLCs, the company is also an innovator in the controller market and is today the leader in this segment, with top products like the Alpha controller and micro-controllers like the FX1S/FX1N line. It is said that the company has also set new standards in the market for highly-complex industrial automation systems with the MELSEC Q series, a modular multiprocessor controller system with integrated motion controller, IT technology and full online change functionality.
Commenting on the strengths of the Mitsubishi Electric PLC systems, Kawasaki says, "Our controller systems are the result of a continuous development commitment and they reflect the key strengths of our company, as expressed by our new product philosophy, New Dimensions - Automation Power from Mitsubishi Electric. User-friendly operation concepts, efficient software systems, secure network connections, fast execution, high reliability, and last but not least, ultra-compact dimensions ensure that our users always get more functionality and performance."
This all guarantees high technological performance and reliability - Mitsubishi Electric is committed to providing its customers with more than off-the-shelf standard components. Offering complete system solutions is an integral part of Mitsubishi Electric's marketing strategy. The company's stated development objective is to design the ideal combination of hardware and software that provides users with optimum support in their work. To achieve this aim the company spends more than one billion euros on the development of new technologies every year. The result is a range of automation products with a significant efficiency edge.
The 80-year history of Mitsubishi Electric has been 80 years of pioneering spirit and innovation in industrial automation. In South Africa, Mitsubishi Electric's factory automation, motor control and switchgear are available from Circuit Breaker Industries.
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