All-in-one enterprise fabrics are only part of the story when it comes to IT networking these days. Parallel development efforts are striving to produce similar architectures designed to link the enterprise to the factory floor.
Mitsubishi Electric Automation just took a major step forward in this area with the introduction of the e-F@ctory platform designed to link industrial control hardware to popular IT systems from Microsoft, IBM, Sun and others.
e-F@ctory consists of four main components: iQ Automation for PC-based control of robotics and other factory devices; the iQ Works automation development environment; the CC-Link architecture that incorporates Industrial Ethernet at the GbE level; and the Manufacturing Execution System Interface (MESIF) for communicating with IT servers and mainframes.
John Browett, product manager for the e-F@ctory system, said many of the features were designed based on Mitsubishi's own requirements as a manufacturer of high-tech products.