I use “secret” in the title, but honestly, if you know anything about ICONICS or Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO), then it really isn’t a secret as to why these two companies have such an excellent collaboration. The relationship started in 2000 when the two companies established an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) agreement, laying the foundation for MELCO to acquire ICONICS in 2019. So why do these two companies work so well together? The reasons will be obvious after I tell you a bit about each company.

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation – A Role Model for Continuous Improvement, Innovation, & Sustainability

Mitsubishi Electric was founded in Japan in 1921 and through its continued improvement and innovation has become a leading multinational multi-billion-dollar company with an impressive network of group companies. The company is a global player in electronic equipment manufacturing with products that include semiconductors, electrical parts, and industrial automation systems and parts. For instance, MELCO offers an extensive range of automation and processing hardware such as controllers, drive products, power distribution and control products, electrical discharge machines, electron beam machines, laser processing machines, computerized numerical controllers, and industrial robots. As a result, Mitsubishi Electric solutions bring high quality and productivity to any factory floor. And since the company has set up global service networks, it can provide direct communication and comprehensive support to customers.  

Indeed, the company’s values and mission are intrinsically linked to the company’s Japanese heritage and center around the philosophy of “Contributing to the realization of a vibrant and sustainable society through continuous technological innovation and ceaseless creativity.” This approach allows MELCO to commit to manufacturing products and providing services that positively impact people’s lives and aligns with the belief that its success is “closely tied to the well-being of society as a whole.” The company is also dedicated to operating ethically and sustainably prioritizing environmental and social responsibility along with safety.

Moreover, Mitsubishi Electric’s research and development efforts reflect the company’s commitment to quality and innovation. MELCO invests heavily in these two sectors creating products and technologies that meet its customers’ ever-changing needs. By focusing on innovation, the company has realized many breakthroughs in significant areas like artificial intelligence, robotics, and renewable energy. In fact, the company has been recognized for its achievements, especially in product design, research and development, and sustainability.

And MELCO doesn’t just talk about making the world a better place and contributing to sustainability; the company walks the walk. For example, Mitsubishi Electric has recently launched its Greater Than initiative geared toward tackling five key sustainability challenges:

  • Circular Economy: To achieve a society in which resources are effectively used and sustainably circulated. 

  • Safety & Security: To achieve a resilent society that can adapt to various envitonmental changes.

  • Carbon Neutral: To achieve a decarbonized society by reducing emissions and providing solutions for a net-zero future. 

  • Inclusion: To achieve a society in which all people are respected and can lead free, fair, and vibrant lives. 

  • Well-Being: To achieve a healthy and comfortable life for everyone, both mentally and physically.

The Greater Than initiative also applies to becoming a greater company, empowering greater communities, realizing a greater world. This initiative is about doing right and doing good. And besides being known for its commitment to environmental sustainability, Mitsubishi Electric is recognized for its cutting-edge technology and continuous improvement, its high quality and reliability, its diverse product and service portfolio, and its global presence. At its core, MELCO is solid.

So, now that you have a pretty good idea and feel about Mitsubishi Electric, it’s time to tell you about ICONICS. 

ICONICS - An Automation Software Center of Excellence

Founded over three and a half decades ago, ICONICS develops and offers software for visualization, HMI, SCADA, and energy solutions for automating, monitoring, controlling, and optimizing critical assets. Our advanced software serves multiple business sectors, such as manufacturing, industrial, and building automation, along with public infrastructure. When looking at what makes ICONICS so successful and differentiates us from our competitors, it comes down to our portfolio and our team. But more specifically, it comes down to these six aspects: our software architecture, our commitment to industry standards, our proven and continuous innovation, our platform’s extensibility, our commitment to making the world a better place, and of course, our people and partners.  

Our software architecture: Our platform can manipulate and aggregate data and provide security, language aliasing, and other capabilities. Application servers in our architecture turn data into meaningful information and provide capabilities like scheduling, data storage, alarming, fault diagnostics, workflows, etc. Client technologies allow users to work with data on any platform whether it be a desktop computer, a phone, or a watch. And integration across the architecture is what drives engineering efficiency with consistency and reusability. 

Our commitment to industry standards: The ICONICS architecture is scalable, supporting applications that run on the edge to the cloud. It has universal connectivity, so it can read data from a wide range of data sources. Additionally, we've been involved with and contributed to the OPC Foundation since its founding and participated at the board level longer than any other company. And we support BACnet, BACnet SC, MQTT/Sparkplug B, and more.

Our proven and continuous innovation: We're proven innovators. Case in point, we were a charter member of the OPC Foundation, and we were the first 64-bit SCADA application. We were the first to introduce multi-touch support back in 2009, before the iPad. And we developed the natural user interface based on Microsoft Kinect and added support for voice commands back when everyone was just getting to know “Alexa”. We were the first automation company to adopt Azure Digital Twins. As a testament to our innovative nature and products, ICONICS is frequently recognized in the industry. For example, we've been a Microsoft Partner of the Year 10 times, and we've been awarded the Engineers’ Choice award for many of our products by Control Engineering magazine. We've also won awards from Start, from Control magazine, from Plant Engineering, and from the Environmental Business Journal. 

Our platform’s extensibility: ICONICS extensibility applies on many levels. You might require custom connectivity to an obscure data source, or a custom calculation that you want to be able to historize or use as an alarm condition. We support both. Almost anything can be accomplished with our standard products in simple expressions. Even if your project involves something more off the beaten path, our extensibility toolkit allows you to extend each layer of the architecture.  

Our commitment to making the world a better place: ICONICS has long contributed to sustainability efforts by designing and developing software solutions that focus on operational efficiency to reduce energy usage. Twice, we have been recognized as Microsoft Sustainability Partner of the Year due to our development of both energy anilities management analysis tools. And most recently, ICONICS has committed to Mitsubishi Electric’s Greater Than sustainability initiative to become a greater company, empower greater communities, and realize a greater world.

Our people and partners: Over our history, our team has proven to be an incredibly capable and creative group. Our team, though, is much more than ICONICS. Like the old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”, it also takes a village to advance automation and digital transformation and keep businesses on track with their digital journeys and smart factories, buildings, and processes. And our village is our network of distributors, system integrators, technical partners, and fellow Mitsubishi Electric colleagues. 

Mitsubishi Electric & ICONICS: The A-Team in Industrial Automation Solutions 

OK, let’s look at why these two companies work so well together:    

Both companies have extensive expertise and experience in industrial automation, manufacturing industries, and public infrastructure. MELCO and ICONICS have been working for many years with these industries so know firsthand what products and solutions are required to optimize operations. And both companies deliver on this front.

Both companies are dedicated to innovation and advanced technology. Since their beginnings, MELCO and ICONICS have made it their core aim to innovate and seek out the latest technologies. Together, they offer state-of-the-art solutions for an ever-evolving market.

Both companies together can provide solutions for the digital transformation market. As digital transformation is an important aspect of MELCO’s strategy, the company acquired ICONICS to serve as the “Software Center of Excellence” for MELCO, extending its automation software portfolio to evolve from a factory automation component to a solution provider. In addition, Mitsubishi Electric’s software offerings 3D Simulator MELSOFT Gemini, MELSOFT AI MaiLab, and of course the ICONICS Suite well position Mitsubishi Electric for the digital transformation market. 

Both companies have a substantial global presence. MELCO and ICONICS have operations in numerous countries and regions around the world with global companies in multiple industries that use MELCO’s and ICONICS’ solutions. With a solid worldwide reach, both companies can provide localized and high-quality support and services.  

Both companies are committed to protecting the world with sustainability as an integral part of their business models. MELCO and ICONICS promote sustainability and sustainable practices for a reduced environmental impact, and they do this through improved product design and business approaches. MELCO’s and ICONICS’ products and solutions optimize energy and resource efficiency. And adding to this is the Greater Than initiative.  

The key to the collaboration’s success is pretty obvious, right? And it was obvious to Ted Hill, ICONICS President and CEO. When he joined the company in 2021, he was asked why he joined, what was the attraction. He had this to say:  

“Well, for me, ICONICS was an easy decision. It was about our products; it was about the team. And it's the impact that I believe we'll have globally as part of Mitsubishi Electric. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation recognizes ICONICS as an industry leader in automation software solutions and has positioned the company as its “Software Center of Excellence”. Through continued investments in IIoT technology and cloud-enabled solutions, the collaboration between our two companies will open new doors for customers and partners along their digital transformation journeys in automation markets around the world.” 

ICONICS & Mitsubishi Electric – Together Is Most Definitely Better

Mitsubishi Electric and ICONICS make an impressive collaboration as both companies specialize in providing advanced solutions for industrial automation and control systems. The combination of expertise and technologies allows both MELCO and ICONICS to offer customers a wider range of products and services, enhance their innovation capabilities to solve industry needs, and provide more comprehensive support for their customers' industrial automation challenges.

But underneath these remarkable capabilities are their people; people who come from all over the world to deliver diverse communication and perspectives, enhanced problem-solving abilities, and heightened creativity. And they make up a group of amazing people who genuinely care about what they do and about the world and its communities. When it comes to ICONICS and Mitsubishi Electric, “together” is most definitely better.  

Learn more about Mitsubishi Electric’s commitment to sustainability and the company’s Greater Than initiative.