Drives and Controls Magazine
Multicore controller processes data at the same time
Published:  24 April, 2018

At the Hannover Fair, Omron has unveiled an industrial controller with a “unique” multicore technology that allows it to execute high-speed data-processing tasks at the same time as performing machine control. The NX1 Series controller can collect synchronised data from sensors, servomotors and other devices in the same fixed cycle time, and can send the data to a host IT system, while maintaining control performance.

When used with a new high-speed analogue input module (the NX-HAD4xx), the NX1 controllers can obtain analogue data simultaneously from four insulated channels at a sampling speed of 5µs – claimed to be the industry's fastest.

This will allow quality management to be integrated with control functions. Instead of having to use special inspection machines with built-in PCs, the new controller will be able to perform duties such as vibration inspection of high-speed rotating machines, and allow inspection processes to be incorporated into production lines.

Omron says that the analogue module will help to boost product quality without requiring special skills.

Another module (the NX-SL5xxx Safety CPU) integrates safety with the control of production lines and machines, and eliminates the need for re-programming if the line layout is changed. Safety control systems can be built within and between machines, and control and safety can be managed as a module.

Integrating data processing and quality management with machine control: Omron's new NX1 machine automation controller (left) and NX-HAD4 high-speed analogue input module

The NX1 controllers allow synchronised control of I/O and motion within 1ms cycle times. They can handle up to 12 axes to enable high-speed precision control.

The controllers have three built-in industrial Ethernet ports – EtherNet/IP, EtherCat, and an OPC UA server interface for IIoT for industrial automation and information technology. This will allow the use of IT in production sites, as well as easy and secure connection to host IT systems. Production data can be stored directly in databases without needing PCs or middleware, enabling real-time and reliable traceability of products and helping to improve quality control.

The built-in EtherNet/IP, EtherCat, OPC UA and database connection functions support: the use of information within and between machines; visualisation of production status using MES/Scada; and traceability using SQL databases.