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‘Highest precision’ controllers can cut defects and wastage

20 April, 2023

Omron has launched a new generation of automation controllers that it claims offer the world’s highest precision data collection and large-capacity transfer capabilities, leading to rapid improvements in processes that cause defective products, as well as cutting wastage. The NX502-1x00 CPUs also boast a control technology for large-scale and high-speed safety that Omron says will cut lead times when making changes on production lines.

As well as the controllers, the company has released a new generation of EtherNet/IP units, called NX-EIP201. Together, they use “unique” advanced information processing and communications technologies, and large-capacity memories, to achieve real-time analysis and modularisation. This allows production processes to be split into functional units, making it easier to make changes flexibly.

The NX502 and NX-EIP201 can separate network systems, including safety. They can respond flexibly to changes in manufacturing sites, such as the addition of welding processes, and improve production efficiency by stopping only the relevant parts of the process.

The NX502 controllers operate with a jitter of 1µs or less, and can transfer data about four times faster than Omron’s earlier NJ501 controllers, and similar devices. This will allow production-related data – such as temperatures, pressures and flow rates – to be analysed and reflected in processing conditions in real time. This, in turn, will allow rapid improvement of processes that are causing defective products, and reduce wastage.

The integrated control technology will allows users to control large-scale production lines with up to eight network system separations, and up to 254 safety connections. This will make it possible to adjust and check partial processes with minimal impact on operations, even on large lines, and will improve energy productivity by reducing lead times “significantly” when changing lines.

Omron’s new controllers are said to help reduce defects and wastage

Omron cites an example of application where the new controllers’ performance capabilities will bring benefits. When producing high-quality crystals, it says, production-related data fluctuates in real time, depending on the conditions. Normally, limitations of communications performance can act as a bottleneck in these processes, resulting in unstable manufacturing quality. The new controller’s high information-processing capability will lead to early identification of the cause of such problems, helping to improve production conditions and stabilise the mass production of the crystals.

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With existing controllers (top), delays can result in production line defects occurring before they can be prevented. Omron claims that its new fast-response controllers can avoid this (below).



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