The Art of Control Design

When it comes to industrial machine control, using pre-configured function blocks in machine design helps save programming time.

Control design is a drawn-out process. When there’s a lot on the line, you need to make sure the machine will function properly. Since design is done on a case-by-case basis, every project is different and requires a different amount of programming work.

The thing is, pretty much anyone who works for a systems integrator or has been given the task of designing controls for an industrial machine already knows what they’re doing. Your ability is not in question by the time you’re heading up a project like that. It’s not a matter of whether you can design an effective, safe machine. It’s more about the manhours associated with programming it. And much of that process is repetitive and time consuming, requiring a lot of debugging and adjustment.

This is where iQ Monozukuri comes in. Monozukuri is a Japanese term that roughly translates to “the art of manufacturing”, and anyone doing control design knows it is an art-form. iQ Monozukuri is an engineering tool that was created to help engineers shorten their development time. Instead of working from scratch, you’re basically creating projects based on existing cam profile function blocks and sample programs. It also includes sample HMI screens and is available for Mitsubishi Electric’s iQ-R and iQ-F controller lines.

Of course, there are those engineers who are interested in designing machines but don’t have the experience or knowledge necessary to do it all on their own. They aren’t the lead designers hired to create machines. Maybe they’re designing a machine to do a function they haven’t worked with before. iQ Monozukuri has these control designers covered as well, because the function blocks simplify the process to a degree that they only require basic knowledge to use. Almost any function required for control in converting or packaging lines is currently covered with iQ Monozukuri.

iQ Monozukuri reduces your programming time without sacrificing reliability or safety. Everything Mitsubishi Electric releases in North America is engineer-tested and has been field-tested in Japan for at least a year before it’s released here. iQ Monozukuri is no exception.

It’s almost like plagiarizing someone’s paper in high school, except it’s not unethical and grounds for expulsion. You’re building off other engineers’ work. The only difference is our engineers created iQ Monozukuri for your use.

By the way, there’s a free trial available. You can load it into your Mitsubishi Electric PLC today and start creating projects… for free. The trial lasts for 60 days, but even if you let it expire you won’t lose your work. Check it out here.

Elaine Wang is a Sr. Product Marketing Engineer for servo products at Mitsubishi Electric Automation. If you have any questions, contact Elaine at [email protected].

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