Connecting SCADA and Robots

June 29, 2023
Mitsubishi Electric’s acquisition of SCADA software supplier Iconics supports preventative and predictive maintenance applications for robots and other automated machinery.

In May 2019, less than a year before the start of the COVID pandemic, Mitsubishi Electric made a key move for its industrial system portfolio with its acquisition of Iconics. Beyond traditional SCADA applications, the web-enabled OPC UA-certified software from Iconics provided Mitsubishi Electric with a way to “bridge the gap between IT and OT (operations technology).”

Key capabilities brought by Iconics software to Mitsubishi’s industrial automation portfolio include:

  • IoT (Internet of Things) connectivity via Iconics’ IoTWorX for asset connectivity, secure cloud communications and real-time visualization.
  • Analytics data via Quality AnalytiX and New CFSWorX connected field worker technologies.
  • Big Data collection using Iconics’ Hyper Historian and cloud connectivity.
  • AnyGlass Visualization, which enables data access via wearables, augmented reality applications and smart assistants.

Highlighting integration of the Iconics software into Mitsubishi Electric automation applications at Automate 2023, Tim Hider, product marketing manager at Mitsubishi Electric, said there’s “a growing need for preventative and predictive maintenance” across industry that the combination of Mitsubishi Electric and Iconics technologies can address. “What this means for end users is that we now have a SCADA solution that can integrate with our entire industrial automation lineup,” Hider said, referencing a demo with a Mitsubishi Electric robot connected to Iconics’ SCADA software, which visualizes the robot’s axis positions, enables access to the robot’s control applications and provides robot maintenance information such as the percentage of remaining bearing life on the robot.

“This not only works with robots but can also work with CNC systems and all of our other industrial automation products,” said Hider. “Obviously the strength of this solution is that we can talk directly to Mitsubishi Electric products, but we have an array of drivers that allows users to connect to other components. We can even bring in an OPC server to access almost anybody's robot or PLC…to do monitoring or control in any environment.”

In the video below,Tim Hider with Mitsubishi Electric explains the combination of Iconics and Mitsubishi Electric technologies.

About the Author

David Greenfield, editor in chief | Editor in Chief

David Greenfield joined Automation World in June 2011. Bringing a wealth of industry knowledge and media experience to his position, David’s contributions can be found in AW’s print and online editions and custom projects. Earlier in his career, David was Editorial Director of Design News at UBM Electronics, and prior to joining UBM, he was Editorial Director of Control Engineering at Reed Business Information, where he also worked on Manufacturing Business Technology as Publisher. 

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