Industrial automation specialist Omron Automation Americas has released the latest version of its NX1 series machine automation controller, which integrates machine control with information utilization, quality management and safety.
The integration helps manufacturers collect and utilize data more effectively and improve overall productivity. Its compact design helps bring the control of compact machines to a whole new level. Manufacturers need to visualize data on machine and process status, predictive maintenance and other things that impact productivity, but high-speed processing of large amounts of data tends to increase control cycle time.
NX1 collects synchronized data from sensors, servo motors and other devices within the same fixed cycle time using a unique multicore technology that executes high-speed data processing tasks and machine control tasks simultaneously. The controller then sends all collected data to the host IT system while keeping control performance at the ideal level, it is claimed.
This suits the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) concept, which promises to revolutionize manufacturing by enabling the acquisition and accessibility of far greater amounts of data, at far greater speeds.
Three industrial Ethernet ports – EtherNet/IP and EtherCAT – along with an OPC UA server interface for industrial automation and information technology are housed in a compact design just 66 mm wide. This connectivity enables data usage at production sites and provides an intuitive, secure connection to host IT systems. The database connection model can directly store production information in databases without using PCs or middleware, ensuring traceability of all products in real time and improving quality control.
The NX1 provides synchronized control of I/O and motion within a 1-ms cycle time and motion control of up to 12 axes to enable high-speed, high-precision control. The built-in EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT, OPC UA and database connection functionality allows information usage within and between machines as well as visualization of production status with MES/SCADA, traceability using a SQL database and other applications.
When connected with the NX-HAD4 High-speed analog input unit, the NX1 simultaneously obtains analog data from four insulated channels at a sampling speed of 5 µs. Rather than requiring special inspection machines with a built-in PC, this standard controller can be used for inspections such as vibration inspection of high-speed rotators.
The NX1 Series alongside the NX-SL5 Safety CPU integrates control and safety features previously unavailable in the market. With the NX1 and the NX-SL5, CIP Safety and EtherCAT Safety can be realized together on the same control system, giving robotics and factory automation users the option to integrate with varied safety networks. Safety control systems can be built within and between machines, and control and safety can be managed as a module, simplifying the creation of flexible production lines.
With improved communication between advanced machine control functionality and vital tasks related to information utilization, quality management and safety, Omron stated that the new NX1 helps manufacturers stay on top of predictive maintenance and productivity monitoring without slowing down production.