Mitsubishi, HACARUS Expand Industrial AI Inspection

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and HACARUS Corporation will expand their collaboration on AI-based visual-inspection applications for manufacturing. Particularly, Mitsubishi Electric will take an equity stake in HACARUS.

They will leverage their respective resources and technologies to increase synergies. Moreover, to maximize mutual technological and business potential.

By leveraging HACARUS’ expertise, Mitsubishi Electric expects to accelerate its development and provision of integrated and automated AI-based visual inspection solutions that will enable customers to improve manufacturing quality and overall productivity.

Meanwhile, for HACARUS, the collaboration will provide access to Mitsubishi Electric’s extensive sales infrastructure in Japan and overseas. 

Strengthens Manufacturing Automation

HACARUS Check is a visual-inspection solution equipped with a unique, compact AI. In addition, HACARUS also specializes in integrating AI with various factory automation (FA) devices. In December 2023, Mitsubishi Electric released MELSOFT VIXIO, an AI-based visual-inspection software equipped with the company’s proprietary Maisart AI technology to automate visual-inspection processes for improved manufacturing quality and to address the problem of Japan’s shrinking labor force. 

“As part of our strategy for the FA systems business, we are addressing key challenges facing modern society,” said Toshie Takeuchi, Group President of Mitsubishi Electric’s Factory Automation Systems Group.

Moreover, Takeuchi said, the automation of production lines is accelerating due to labor shortages. Nonetheless, humans still perform manually many visual inspections. “Through this collaboration, we look forward to strengthening our response to customer needs through MELSOFT VIXIO, supported by HACARUS’ expertise in AI-based visual inspection, to address labor shortages in the manufacturing sector,” said Takeuchi.

On the other hand, Takashi Someda, CEO at HACARUS said, “Since HACARUS founding in 2014, our company has sought to measure in a variety of industrial areas…(We have) made it its mission to contribute to society by creating additional value from data using the latest technologies such as AI, IoT and robots.”

In addition, Someda said, “For customers in the manufacturing industry, we offer HACARUS Check, a product that reduces the manual labor required for visual inspection. Through this capital and business alliance, we will strive to develop solutions that promote digital transformation at manufacturing sites, focusing primarily on surface inspection.”

Manufacturing Digitalization

Mitsubishi Electric’s FA systems business is strengthening its portfolio of solutions for the digitalization of manufacturing and the promotion of Circular Digital-Engineering. To further automate and digitize processes. These include design, production, testing, operation, and maintenance.

Thus, Mitsubishi Electric is steadily investing and partnering with software companies to provide customers with best-in-class products and solutions.

In recent years, shrinking labor forces, especially skilled labor, in various countries has negatively impacted manufacturing productivity levels. One response has been the adoption and development of rule-based visual inspection using image-processing technologies. However, difficulties in detecting defects such as scratches and uneven colors are increasing the demand for AI technology. This can further automate inspection processes and reduce burdens on product inspectors.