Discrete and Process Automation

Mitsubishi Electric Automation supports customer’s transition from mechanical to digital to achieve flexibility and variability

22 March 2024

Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc. and Shaltz Automation supported a custom machinery company, ARL Service, in an aspiration that was deemed “crazy” to consider — replacing physical cams with digital cams for a machine that grinds carbide inserts. The metal cams were produced based on specific requirements from a third party, resulting in a time delay that affected production. Setup was laborious, so changeovers were few and far between.

Source: Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc.Source: Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc.

The new system included Mitsubishi Electric automation components, including FX5 PLC, MR-J4 servos and amplifiers, simple motion modules, GOT2000 Series HMI and FR-E800 variable frequency drive (VFD). The combination of these solutions, along with digital controls and software, resulted in a system that could replace the physical cams. The solution allows ARL Service to quickly generate new, virtual cams since everything on the machine is programmable and variable. Since the system is digital, services such as diagnosis, repairs and upgrades can be performed through the internet for new machines.

“We were amazed that with each machine, we kept finding out just how much more these digital controls could do. So, each new machine is better than the one before,” said Al Lewellen, owner of ARL Service. “When it got down to the real nitty-gritty, the support from Mitsubishi Electric was fantastic.”

To contact the author of this article, email GlobalSpecEditors@globalspec.com

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