Omron found that it would be more effective to introduce EtherCAT technology by means of the NX Series I/O System. This ultimately led to a demonstration of the Sysmac platform and subsequently a bill of materials proving that the NJ Series Machine Automation Controller and NX-Series I/O System would save 30% of costs compared with the previous design.

Omron gave preference to EtherCAT over DeviceNet because the latter is a slower CAN-based protocol designed for sensors and it uses screw-type connections that can be difficult to install and maintain. EtherCAT, an Ethernet-based control protocol with RJ45 connectivity, is easier to implement in large part because customers can leverage their understanding of Ethernet.

Although it was too late to convert from using a different supplier for prototype production, Omron secured the remote I/O and began to actively work on transitioning the R&D company to a full Sysmac solution. The company was so impressed with the new solution’s potential that they paid for a three-day, on-site training event for their engineering staff. Omron worked with the customer to develop a complete plug-and-play solution that worked within its timeline.

Business Need

A leading provider of green research and development services for engineering and life sciences companies needed a plug-and-play automation solution to improve its Generation 1 machine that converted flare gas to methane for the oil and gas industry.

Unique Solution

Omron proposed an EtherCAT-based solution employing the NX-Series I/O System for the customer’s remote I/O needs along with temperature control and machine automation controllers from the NJ family.

Customer Benefits

The solution cut costs by 30% and boosted machine performance, and the NX temperature control allowed the customer to scale up the design from a 250kW reactor to a 1mW reactor in their Generation 3 machine.