Mitsubishi Electric automates sheet metal processing through ASTES4 acquisition

Mitsubishi Electric has announced the acquisition of ASTES4 SA, a Swiss developer of automated sorting solutions for sheet metal laser processing machines, in a move to automate its own commercially available sheet metal processing offerings and increase business worldwide.

Sheet metal laser processing involves loading the material, laser cutting, unloading cut materials as well as removing and sorting cut parts from the frame. The need to automate these processes has escalated worldwide due to a lack of human resources in production facilities and the increased ability of fibre lasers to process high volumes of material.

Mitsubishi Electric's sheet metal laser processing machine business has been developing globally in Japan, the Americas, Europe, China, Southeast Asia and India. Through acquiring ASTES4, Mitsubishi Electric will be able to integrate the firm’s flexible automated sorting solutions for the loading, unloading and sorting of various materials into its own sheet metal laser processing machines.

‘Mitsubishi Electric will further strengthen its lineup of automation systems together with sorting solutions for sheet metal laser processing machines to provide its valued customers with integrated solutions that require less manual loading, unloading and sorting to realise higher productivity and efficiency,’ the company confirmed in its announcement.

Mitsubishi Electric is not the only firm to have enhanced the automation of laser sheet metal processing recently. Swiss sheet metalworking equipment manufacturer Bystronic also recently acquired a 70 per cent stake in Italian firm Antil Spa in order to expand its range of automation solutions. Additionally, in its recent financial report Trumpf described how it has also begun optimising its sheet metal machining processes towards the goal of fully automated production.

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