Mitsubishi Electric has rolled out the new FA-IT Open Platform for factory automation.

Based on edge computing, the platform connects factory shop floors with value chains via Internet of things systems, enabling the rapid collection, analysis and utilisation of data for smart manufacturing, according to the company.

The development environment is free for download, allowing vendors to create manufacturing applications for operation on the platform, including connecting the platform to industrial networks for the collection of data from diverse devices and production equipment. Mitsubishi Electric is also considering opening an online application store.

The platform uses simple data model construction so can design, manage and access equipment data models based on the Industrie 4.0 administration shell even without expert knowledge in subjects such as programming, according to the company.

In addition, the cloud-connected platform can also be used to link manufacturing sites with IT vendors’ own cloud-supported manufacturing-optimisation services for supply chains and administration of multiple factories worldwide, among other applications.

Mitsubishi Electric plans to continue developing the platform itself and applications for the platform through collaboration with IT companies and others, focusing on connection to increased equipment and devices, strengthening security measures and incorporating artificial intelligence.

The platform will also be integrated with solutions based on Mitsubishi Electric’s e-F@ctory ecosystem for factory automation.