Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Omron introduces the NX1-Series controller

Omron Corporation announced the global release in April of its new NX1-Series Machine Automation Controller.

It will also release the NX-HAD4xx High-speed Analog Input Unit (*1) and NX-SL5xxx Safety CPU Unit (*2) that can be used with the NX1 Series, helping address manufacturing innovation challenges including the strengthening of quality control and flexible safety measures.

Manufacturers are now driving visualization of machine and process status, predictive maintenance to prevent downtime, and other information utilization approaches to further improve productivity.

It is necessary to easily and securely collect huge amounts of data from manufacturing sites and store them in the host IT systems.

However, there is a compromise between increasing control cycle time and maintaining and improving productivity when controllers in manufacturing machines process a large amount of data at high speeds.

In addition, on the one hand, high speed and precision are required for industrial networks at production sites. On the other hand, high-level security is required for connection to host IT systems. This results in a significant barrier to interconnectivity of networks.

In these circumstances, the NX1 Series has been designed to collect synchronized data from sensors, servomotors, and units mounted to the controller within the same fixed cycle time thanks to Omron’s unique multicore technology that provides machine control and at the same time executes high-speed data processing tasks.

This controller can send the synchronized data to the host IT system while maintaining control performance. The NX1 Series has three built-in industrial Ethernet ports — EtherNet/IP and EtherCAT ports — and an OPC UA server interface for IIoT for industrial automation and information technology.

This connectivity allows use of IT at production sites and easy and secure connection to host IT systems. The database connection model (*3) can directly store production data in databases without using PCs or middleware, enabling real-time and reliable traceability of all products and helping improve quality control.

The NX1 Series in combination with the NX-HAD4xx High-speed Analog Input Unit can be used for inspections by high-speed sampling of analog data, which previously required the use of special inspection machines. Users can improve product quality without any special skills.

Connected with the NX-SL5xxx Safety CPU Unit, the NX1 Series integrates safety control of production lines and machines. The integrated safety and modularized safety control programs eliminate the need for re-programming when the line layout is changed. Flexible production and safety can be achieved.

Omron is exhibiting the NX1 Series from April 23 to April 27 at the Hannover Messe 2018.