Omron unveils “revolutionary” new technology in Toronto – The Machine Automation Controller
By Mary Del
Dec. 6, 2014 – Omron Industrial Automation has released a new class of controller – the Machine Automation Controller (MAC).
Dubbed the NJ-Series, and supported by Sysmac Studio machine automation software, the MAC was created to integrate multiple specialized controllers – motion, logic, sequence, vision, operator safety and RFID tracking – with exacting system synchronization to deliver high performance throughput on a single controller.
Manufacturing AUTOMATION attended the Canadian launch of the controller in Toronto, which was attended by more than 100 customers who all came to see the NJ-Series in action.
“We are thrilled to be here. We are thrilled to show off our new architecture, which includes NJ5, Sysmac Studio and EtherCAT,” said Shawn Adams, director of marketing for Omron Industrial Automation. “What is exciting and unique for our customers, they are going to see that the ease of integration, of tying together the motion piece and the vision piece, would be unprecedented.”
Different from conventional controllers and platforms, Omron’s NJ-Series MAC takes a fresh approach to resolve the integration of control technologies without degrading performance. At its simplest, the NJ-Series provides one controller for motion, logic and vision; Sysmac Studio software with a true Integrated Development Environment (IDE) supporting programming, configuration, simulation and monitoring; all accessed by one connection to networks optimized for factory automation information (EtherNet/IP) and real-time machine control for motion, vision, sensors and actuators (EtherCAT). The MAC features an advanced real-time scheduler to manage motion, network, and the user application updates at the same time to ensure synchronization. Updating all three in the same scan is unique to Omron Industrial Automation’s NJ-Series MAC. It sets the performance benchmark to qualify for the MAC category: processing 32 axes and updating in one millisecond.
The NJ-Series MAC was purposely designed to meet the challenge from machine builders for a fully scalable, high-speed motion and I/O controller with the ability to change servo parameters on the fly, integrate vision data, and keep all the servo motor shafts accurately synchronized. The single software tool, Sysmac Studio SE200D, eliminates separate software products that make it cumbersome to design, develop and validate programs. The development environment offers time-saving simulation of motion profiles and integrated response from controllers and operator interface terminals.
Some of the market segments that this is specifically targeted for is alternative energy, semiconductor, automotive and high-speed packaging.
What’s next for Omron and its customers?
“The fun part about coming into a new architecture is really the future. This is just the first processor that we’ll introduce, with a solid foundation of the integration. But what comes now is, we’re already working on, and should release soon, other processor types – the NJ-3, the NJ-7. There’s additional connectivity that we’ll continue to do with EtherCAT. And lastly, there’s a lot more convergence of technology inside the processor that we’ll be able to build on top of this foundation,” said Adams. “So it’s a very, very exciting time and it starts now because you’ve got a new foundation in which to plan. So really we don’t see any limits right now, and we’re really excited about where we’re going.”
For more information, visit www.omron247.com.