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Machine controllers combine NC and PLC functions

03 October, 2017

Omron has announced a pair of integrated machine controllers that combine NC (numerical control) and PLC functions, and can synchronise NC processes with others at high speed, thus boosting machine productivity. The NJ501-5300 machine automation controller and NY532-5400 IPC (industrial PC) machine controller are claimed to cut the interlock time (the wait time during communications) between NC processes and others by up to 25% compared to using separate controllers. This can cut significantly the cycle times of machines that generate many interlocks.

By providing both G-Code and NC functions, Omron says that the controllers support complex, precision profiling operations and increase the production capacity of processing machines.

The function blocks provided for PLC, motion control and NC functions simplify program structures, even when synchronising NC process with others, cutting development times. Executing PLC and NC programs within one control period allows processes to be synchronised with the cycle.

The NC functions, which include 3D interpolation and position compensation, simplify complex profiling, while the G-Code functions allow NC programs generated automatically by CAD/CAM software to be imported into the controllers. This reduces the time taken to design and program complex profiling operations.

Omron's new machine automation controller (left) and IPC machine controller (right)

Omron has also added NC setting and G-Code programming to its Sysmac Studio software to provide an integrated development environment for configuration, programming, monitoring and 3D simulations. Machinery programs can be developed and debugged using one piece of software.

The IPC version of the controller (which offers a choice of 12.1 or 15.4 inch built-in screens) can control up to 32 axes, while the automation controller can handle 16. The IPC version supports eight channels – twice as many as the automation controller. Both offer 500µs cycle times and can support up to 192 EtherCat slaves.

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