Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced today that two of its factory-automation technologies, MELFA-3D Vision and Sensor-less Servo, have each won a 2014 R&D 100 Award from R&D Magazine. The awards, commonly known as the “Oscars of Innovation,” underline Mitsubishi Electric’s continuing status as a global leader in industrial innovation.
The award ceremony will take place at the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada on November 7.
The MELFA-3D Vision provides bin-picking solutions for a wide class of complex shaped parts. The MELFA-F series robotic system, using the advanced vision solution, is the first system of its kind to completely automate bin-picking. In many conventional factories, various parts are supplied manually to automatic assembly systems. Repetitive tasks such as these can become painful and stressful for workers, which is why parts feeders were adopted to automate bin-picking tasks. Feeders, however, need to be custom-designed for each part and often occupy large spaces. Several robotic systems using vision sensors have already been developed, but typically they can be used only for parts with simple shapes in conventional systems. In response to these technical limitations, Mitsubishi Electric’s MELFA-3D Vision technology offers dramatically improved capabilities for the automatic bin-picking of general parts on production lines.
The Sensor-less Servo system combines a specialized drive unit and motor for precise control of speed and position without the need for an encoder. The drive offers many advantages over conventional substitutes, including a smaller motor, higher durability and greater efficiency. Conventional motor drive products, such as general-purpose inverters and servo drives, have contributed to improved performance and efficiency in production machines, but the Sensor-less Servo technology is expected to be used in an increasing range of drive products as the variety and needs of these production machines expand.