Omron releases NJ-Series Machine Automation Controller

November 022011
Omron releases NJ-Series Machine Automation Controller

November 2, 2011 - Omron Industrial Automation released NJ-Series Machine Automation Controller (MAC) supported by Sysmac Studio machine automation software. MAC was created to integrate multiple, specialized controllers--motion, logic, sequence, vision, operator safety, and RFID tracking--with exacting system synchronization to deliver high performance throughput on a single controller.  

Different from conventional controllers and platforms, Omron's NJ-Series MAC takes a fresh approach to resolve the integration of control technologies without degrading performance. At its simplest, the NJ-Series provides one controller for motion, logic and vision; Sysmac Studio software with a true Integrated Development Environment (IDE) supporting programming, configuration, simulation and monitoring; all accessed by one connection to networks optimized for factory automation information (EtherNet/IP) and real-time machine control for motion, vision, sensors and actuators (EtherCAT). The MAC features an advanced real-time scheduler to manage motion, network, and the user application updates at the same time to ensure perfect synchronization. Updating all three in the same scan is unique to Omron Industrial Automation’s NJ-Series MAC. It sets the performance benchmark to qualify for the MAC category: processing 32 axes and updating in one millisecond.

Evolution Driven by Market Demand

The NJ-Series MAC was purposely designed to meet the challenge from machine builders for a fully scalable, high-speed motion and I/O controller with the ability to change servo parameters on the fly, integrate vision data, and keep all the servo motor shafts accurately synchronized. They need integrated and expanded capabilities for complete machine control without the ballooning costs of added processors and complexity to handle multiple motion axes at high speed with sequential and process control. The single software tool, Sysmac Studio SE200D, eliminates separate software products that make it cumbersome to design, develop and validate programs. The development environment offers time-saving simulation of motion profiles and integrated response from controllers and operator interface terminals.

Sysmac Automation Platform
Sysmac (SYStem for Machine Automation Control) is Omron's  powerful and robust automation platform with a new machine automation controller--NJ-Series--that integrates motion, sequencing, networking, RFID tracking, and vision inspection; a new software-- Sysmac Studio--that includes configuration, programming, simulation and monitoring; and a fast machine network--EtherCAT--to control motion, vision, sensors and actuators.

NJ-Series Controller
The NJ controller is designed for high speed and flexibility. It incorporates an Intel processor proven for harsh industrial environments with fan-free operation, and runs under an RTOS. It is scalable with 16, 32 and 64 axis CPUs. Response time of less than 1ms can be achieved for applications of up to 32 axes. The NJ series accommodates most of Omron's CJ-Series I/O, special application, and communication units, thus leveraging an existing investment in Omron hardware and retaining a customer’s established knowledge base to ensure smooth upward scalability.

Sysmac Studio Software
Created to provide full control over an automation system, Sysmac Studio software integrates configuration, programming and monitoring into one software. It delivers a true Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to eliminate several separate softwares that make design, development and program validation cumbersome. Graphics-oriented configuration allows quick setup of controller, field devices and networks while machine and motion programming based on IEC61131-3 standard and PLCopen Functions for Motion Control cuts programming time. A smart editor with on-line debugging helps make programming quick and error free. Advanced simulation of sequence and motion control, data logging and data trace reduce machine tuning and setup. Sysmac Studio also offers an advanced 3D simulation environment to develop and test off-line motion profiles such as Cams and complex Kinematics. Intellectual property (IP) can be safely secured using 32-character passwords. Protection for the complete machine programming or a designated portion, e.g., specific function blocks, can be blocked from being uploaded from the controller.

One Network Connection
The NJ-Series controllers provide built-in connectivity to the world standard factory automation network, EtherNet/IP and the real-time, Ethernet-based machine control network, EtherCAT.

Factory Automation Network:  EtherNet/IP
EtherNet/IP provides reliable peer-to-peer communication across the production line, integrating upstream and downstream processes and machines on a single network. It interfaces with Sysmac Studio software as well as a wide range of visualization solutions including Omron's NS-Series HMIs and SCADA software.

Real-Time Machine Network:  EtherCAT
EtherCAT is the fastest emerging network for machine automation. It is Omron's de-facto machine network for its wide range of field and motion devices. It is a 100Mbps industrial Ethernet network compliant with IEEE 802.3 frames, capable of handling up to 192 slaves with refresh time down to 100µs and less than 1µs jitter. It achieves high accuracy for multi-axis synchronization thanks to its distributed slave clock mechanism. The EtherCAT network is simple to set-up with automatic address assignment for slaves and cost effective to install since it uses standard shielded Ethernet cables and connectors.

Sysmac meets the global standards such as EC Directives, cULus, Lloyd, and NK and is designed and manufactured with clean and recyclable material.