Industrial automation solutions provider Omron Automation Americas recently announced the release of its latest NX1 series machine automation controller.
This compact device builds upon previous iterations by integrating machine control with information utilisation, quality management and safety. The NX1 enables smart factories at all levels by providing the link between compact machines and the Industrial Internet of Things.
The newest iteration of Omron's NX1 machine automation controller series is designed to improve productivity through integration with information utilisation, quality management and safety. The high degree of integration helps manufacturers collect and utilise data more effectively and improve overall productivity. Its compact design helps bring the control of compact machines to a whole new level.
High-Speed Data Processing That Won't Hamper Control Performance
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. The NX1 collects synchronized data from sensors, servomotors, and other devices within the same fixed cycle time thanks to 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.
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.
Integration of Control and Information
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 visualisation of production status with MES/SCADA, traceability using a SQL database and other applications.
Integration of Control and Quality Management
When connected with the NX-HAD4 High-speed Analog Input Unit, the NX1 simultaneously obtains analog data from four insulated channels at the industry's fastest 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 inspection process can therefore be seamlessly incorporated into production lines.
Integration of Control and Safety
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, the new NX1 helps manufacturers stay on top of predictive maintenance and productivity monitoring without slowing down production. Better integration provides the foundation for implementing process improvements and creating a more efficient production line.