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Mitsubishi Electric and Visual Components form joint venture for 3D simulators

Mitsubishi Electric has recently announced that it has partnered with Visual Components headquartered in Espoo, Finland in a joint venture company, named ME Industrial Simulation Software Corporation, to develop and sell 3D simulators for manufacturing applications.

Mitsubishi Electric and Visual Components hold 70 percent and 30 percent stakes respectively in the company, which began operating on November 1.

Through the new company, Mitsubishi Electric plans to enhance its digital twin platform for circular digital-engineering business solutions.

Visual Components’ software is compatible with Mitsubishi Electric’s factory automation (FA) products thanks to standard functions for connecting with PLCs and robots as well as interfaces for expanding the functionality of 3D simulators.

By combining Mitsubishi Electric’s advanced control technology and manufacturing expertise with Visual Components’ technology, the JV is expected to further strengthen the functionality and services of Mitsubishi Electric’s “MELSOFT Gemini” 3D simulator, which customers use to overcome labour shortages, improve productivity and upgrade the quality of their manufacturing.

The JV’s development base in Finland will enable it to fully leverage Visual Components’ development expertise in order to verify device control using 3D simulators, upgrade design efficiencies through control-logic generation, and improve productivity through the utilisation of extensive manufacturing data.

Furthermore, the customised-solution capabilities of Visual Components’ sales engineers will enable Mitsubishi Electric’s FA Systems business to better meet the diverse manufacturing needs of customers, particularly in Japan and other Asian markets where Mitsubishi Electric’s presence is particularly strong.

Mikko Urho, CEO of Visual Components, says: “For companies aiming to optimise the entire product lifecycle, 3D simulation is essential.

“This joint venture allows us to maximise synergy by combining Visual Components’ excellent 3D simulation software with Mitsubishi Electric’s manufacturing expertise.

“Through this synergy, we will accelerate the realisation of digital manufacturing and contribute to enhancing our customers’ competitiveness.”

Toshie Takeuchi, group president of factory automation systems at Mitsubishi Electric, says: “Our FA Systems business is focused on overcoming diverse manufacturing challenges in today’s business environment.

“Our FA (factory automation) products support the aggregation and analysis of data from devices and equipment in manufacturing sites to enhance solutions for the engineering chains of customers.

“Our joint venture with Visual Components will combine the strengths of our two companies to support wide-ranging manufacturing sites.”

Today’s manufacturers face challenges including labour shortages in certain markets as well as needs for improved productivity and quality.

Mitsubishi Electric’s FA Systems business has been strengthening its software lineup and support for the full realisation of digital manufacturing.

The MELSOFT Gemini 3D simulator released last year provides a digital twin platform that uses 3D technology to create virtual production lines and facilities in digital spaces, allowing customers to reduce design, equipment and line setup workloads as well as lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) in their engineering chains.

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