Fuji Electric, a brand name with almost 100 years of history behind it, is entering a new era within the EU and UK markets. The Fuji Electric business operates over five business segments with an international strategy:
- Drives & Automation
- Power & New Energy
- Power Electronics
- Electronic Devices
- Food & Beverage Distribution
The company was established in Japan in 1923 and now has 27,000 employees globally, with 104 offices across 21 countries. Annual turnover is in excess of 8billion Euros.
Looking more locally, the EU headquarters was established in Germany in 1987 and today has revenues on EUR111million. In addition, there are satellite offices in the UK, France, Italy, Switzerland and Spain. The technical centre in is located in Barcelona, Spain.
For machine builders and system integrators, the focus of interest will be in Fuji Electric's Drives & Automation division.
Fuji Electric offers several series of variable frequency drive (VFD) to suit applications ranging from general-purpose drives, drives for lifts, cranes and hoists, and dedicated VFDs for building automation applications such as HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), from 0.1kW to 3MW in low-voltage applications. Also, within the Fuji Electric Drives & Automation product portfolio there are families of human-machine interface (HMI) devices, with a choice of touch screen operator interfaces available to match the needs of different users.
Why choose Fuji Electric drives?
According to Fuji Electric, a unique aspect of its offering is that not only does the company manufacture the inverter drives, but it also develops and manufactures the internal components such as the IGBT stack (insulated-gate bipolar transistor); these IGBTs are often sold to and used by Fuji Electric's competitors. Of course, this enables Fuji Electric to stay out in front with the latest technology, using only the newest of its IGBTs.
When considering the UK customer base and applications for the Automation & Drives products, Stuart Cardall (Branch Manager for Fuji Electrics UK business, pictured at the top of this page) comments: "We actively pursue new markets and opportunities, in part, due to the maturity of the traditional markets and applications such as conveying and packaging machines.
"By considering the needs of industry and enhancing our CSR (corporate social responsibility), our focus has moved towards positive environmental applications and niche markets such as bio-digesters, where we see a strong 'green' message through the reduction of landfill and subsequently reducing risk in contamination to the water table.
"Further recent applications include vertical farming where we are able to improve efficiency of food production through automated plant feeding and watering, not to forget efficient harvesting and storage techniques, reducing farm footprints and delivering freshness to the consumer.
"Water purification, desalination and reverse osmosis, where the inclusion of a VFD in the application improves performance alongside user benefits of reducing power consumption, thus saving energy and costs, and allows a smaller footprint and generally greater system efficiency."
These new applications are very interesting and enable Fuji Electric to expand its reach into the European automation markets; however, the company says it does not forget the business that has been at its core for many years. The application of variable speed drives in lift, crane and hoist control systems is a significant business today, where energy and cost saving is vitally important, coupled with Fuji's investment in product development as it continues to reduce costs of the regenerative units used in such applications.
Another differentiator for Fuji is the assembly of the complete cabinet for drives, produced here in Europe, where the company can provide the drive mounted inside an enclosure, with all the required peripheral equipment also mounted. These complete drive cabinets are finished with a high IP (ingress protection) rating and enable Fuji to handle large capacity variable speed drives.
Fuji Electric's team in the EU and UK have a genuine passion for the company and its products. Behind every first-class product there is the offer of first-class support and service. Fuji Electric says it constantly goes above and beyond the competition through the application and technical support that it provides, both locally and through the technical centre in Barcelona. By using the latest in multimedia tools to provide remote support, on-site guidance and advice can help users maximise the benefits of using Fuji products. For example, assistance can be provided for system coding when setting up VSDs and HMIs.
Training is important in all aspects of industrial automation, improving the knowledge both of the OEM and end user. The answer from Fuji Electric is to provide a series of structured training courses, held at the technical centre in Barcelona. These courses are provided free of charge and cover topics such as IoT security, new ways of saving energy through VSDs, EMC requirements, set-up and connectivity to fieldbus systems, and the general configuration of VSDs and HMIs.
To optimise the user experience and ensure appropriate provision of help and information flow, Fuji Electric Europe makes extensive use of its LinkedIn company page. This is used to deliver the most up-to-date information, workshop and training dates, as well as application stories and product hint and tips. Visit and follow Fuji Electric Europe at https://www.linkedin.com/company/fuji-electric-europe-drives-automation.