Omron Automation Americas, a global leader in automation technology, recently announced the launch of the world's first “Robotic Integrated Controller” that perfectly synchronizes automation technology to help customers improve production speed and accuracy, simulate entire production lines without having to deploy physical equipment, simplify maintenance, and reduce time-to-market during the design, planning, commissioning, and changeover processes.
At the heart of the platform is a new machine controller that offers real-time synchronization between all automation equipment, including robots, vision components, drives and safety equipment. The NJ501-R controller is based on Omron’s industry-leading NJ Series of machine controllers for industrial automation. With the Robotic Integrated Controller, it’s possible to automate advanced and complex manual work that would otherwise need to be completed by human workers. In addition, users can now simulate the design and modification of production facilities in a virtual environment, as well as establish equipment and conduct maintenance remotely.
Industries are currently facing labor shortage issues, and the world is experiencing a major turning point in regard to the way in which society conducts business due to new global health concerns. Employees across the globe must maintain social distancing in manufacturing sites, limit business trips, and work remotely. As a result, interest in more advanced automation using robots has been increasing along with a growing demand for digitalization.
Traditionally, automation equipment for production facilities has typically been controlled by a number of different controllers, creating a major challenge with respect to setup and the coordination of speed and timing between various devices. Until recently, it was extremely difficult to automate human tasks that could be considered sophisticated or complex. Moreover, it was difficult to verify a process design in advance and with a high level of accuracy prior to construction of a machine or larger production line. After the equipment is commissioned, adjustments must be made onsite, and backtracking and specification changes are common. This results in a huge number of man-hours.
Omron is a company that produces the motion sensors, robotics, and safety equipment needed to deploy a fully automated production line, and the Robotic Integrated Controller is a solution that addresses the challenges that manufacturing sites have previously encountered. Omron has addressed these issues by seamlessly integrating control equipment. The “two integrations" described below will help solve the problems many customers face in manufacturing sites.
The advanced and seamless control of the Robotic Integrated Controller automates inserting and assembling processes that require delicate and skillful processing. The robots and equipment are controlled and fully synchronized in real time by a single controller, improving device performance and achieving the world's highest level of throughput*².
Integration of the construction process
Omron has established a technology that unifies the programming languages for robot and machine control, making it easy to simulate a production line with single programming software. PLC engineers are now able to easily design robot controls and entire production systems, including all motion, sensor, robotics, and safety equipment. Production lines can be simulated virtually, while the operation capacity can be determined before the commissioning of the facility. The system visualizes the process, reducing man-hours for process design and operational verification by up to 50%*³. Furthermore, all of this can be conducted remotely. Through Sysmac Studio’s user interface, users can design, program, troubleshoot, operate and maintain future automation systems remotely from anywhere in the world.
Omron has a unique concept called "innovative-Automation." With the introduction of the Robotic Integrated Controller, the automation solutions provider is accelerating the evolution of the three "i's" of innovation: integrated, intelligent, and interactive. In particular, Omron focuses on the “automation of complex tasks", the "automation of highly coordinated machine to machine operation", and the empowerment of users in their efforts to transform the manufacturing floor to adapt to modern challenges by providing "a manufacturing site that is virtual and free of space and time constraints," making the automation of these processes a reality.
Key features and benefits of the integrated controller
- By integrating the PLC, motion, and robot control in a single controller, complex manual work that could only be conducted by humans can now be completed by robots. This integration automates skilled workers’ techniques in the manufacturing field and realizes highly synchronized robots and equipment.
- The programming language for the PLC and robot is unified in the generic IEC language, which allows engineers who typically manage PLCs the ability to also manage robots as well.
- With Omron’s simulation technology, you can verify equipment performance at the early stage of equipment design, allowing mechanical designers and electrical designers to design in parallel. As a result, equipment commissioning can be completed in a shorter period, higher production capacity can be achieved, and mistakes and setbacks during equipment commissioning can be avoided.
- To run the simulation, the user can use the emulation function in Sysmac Studio. The system does not require a connection to the actual machine for operation verification. Also, the production capacity of the robot equipment can be monitored digitally.
- By re-using previous digitalized assets, it is easier to establish the next facility.
*¹ The world’s first: November 2019, according to the Omron research. *² Highest level: November 2019, according to the Omron research. *³ 50%: July 2020, according to the Omron research.
As a leader in industrial automation, Omron has extensive lines of control components and equipment, ranging from image-processing sensors and other input devices to various controllers and output devices such as servo motors, as well as a range of safety devices and industrial robots. By combining these devices via software, Omron has developed a variety of unique and highly effective automation solutions for manufacturers worldwide. Based on its reservoir of advanced technologies and comprehensive range of devices, Omron set forth a strategic concept called "innovative-Automation" consisting of three innovations or "i's"--"integrated" (control evolution), "intelligent" (development of intelligence by ICT), and "interactive" (new harmonization between people and machines). Omron is now committed to bringing innovation to manufacturing sites by materializing this concept.
About Omron Automation
Omron Automation is a global leader in the field of automation based on its core technology of "Sensing & Control + Think." Omron’s business fields cover a broad spectrum, ranging from industrial automation and electronic components to automotive electronic components, social infrastructure systems, healthcare, and environmental solutions. Established in 1933, Omron has about 35,000 employees worldwide, working to provide products and services in around 120 countries and regions. In the field of industrial automation, Omron supports manufacturing innovation by providing advanced automation technology and products, as well as through extensive customer support, in order to help create a better society. For more information, visit Omron’s website at automation.omron.com.
About Omron Robotics and Safety Technologies, Inc.
In October 2015, Omron Corporation acquired Adept Technology Inc., a U.S. based leader in robotics, as part of Omron acceleration of its "Complete Automation Solution" strategy for its Industrial Automation Business, which provides automation solutions for the manufacturing industries. In 2019, Omron Robotics and Safety Technologies was formed as a merger of Omron safety and robotics businesses to provide comprehensive solutions for automation and safety. The company aims to contribute to realizing a new manufacturing environment where people and robots work safely in harmony.
Contact (Business and Product Information): Robotics Business Development Project Industrial Automation Company OMRON Corporation TEL: +81-75-344-8492 Email: ORT-Marketing@omron.com