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Compact NX1 Series Controller with OPC UA & SQL for IIOT applications and easy integration with quality and safety management

July 05, 2018

Industry-leading 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 utilization, 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 it's compact design, the NX1 brings advanced machine control to compact machines and combines this functionality with information utilization, quality management and safety features. The high degree of integration helps manufacturers collect and utilize data more effectively and improve overall productivity.

High-Speed Data Processing Without Hampering Control Performance

Manufacturers seek to visualize information about machine and process status, predictive maintenance and anything else that could have an impact on productivity. However, high-speed processing of large amounts of data by a controller tends to increase control cycle time, which in turn discourages productivity improvements. The NX1 overcomes this hurdle by collecting synchronized data from sensors, servomotors, and other devices connected to the controller within the same fixed cycle time. To do this, it uses 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 that has a width of only 66 mm. This connectivity makes it possible to use data 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. This ensures the reliable traceability of all products in real time and improves quality control.

Integration of Control and Information

The NX1 provides synchronized control of I/O and motion within 1 ms cycle time and motion control of up to 12 axes 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. A special multicore technology processes data without compromising control performance.

Integration of Control and Quality Management

When connected with the NX-HAD4 High-speed Analog Input Unit, the NX1 can simultaneously obtain 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. It also allows the inspection process to be seamlessly incorporated into a production line.

Integration of Control and Safety

The NX1 Series combined with the NX-SL5 Safety CPU integrates control and safety features. Safety control systems can be built within and between machines, and control and safety can be managed as a module. This simplifies 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 important predictive maintenance and productivity monitoring requirements without slowing down their overall production. Better integration provides the foundation for implementing process improvements and creating a more efficient production line.

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