Drives & Controls Magazine May 2023

TECHNOLOGY n 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. 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. The integrated control technology will allow 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 cites an 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 act as a bottleneck in these processes, resulting in unstable manufacturing quality. The new controller’s high information-processing capacity will lead to early identification of the cause of such problems, helping to improve production conditions and stabilise the mass production of the crystals. CELERA MOTION HAS announced a range of “ground-breaking” absolute inductive encoders that deliver “next-level” accuracy angle measurements in demanding conditions – dusty, dirty and wet environments, or where high shocks and vibrations are present – that would be unsuitable for optical encoders. The Field Calibration IncOders are aimed at motion control applications and position feedback in robotics. The sensors are based on an inductive sensing method with an accuracy of up to 10 arc-seconds. Their claimed benefits include: n the ability to calibrate the encoder in situ; n a low-profile shape with a large bore, making the sensors compact, lightweight and easy to install; n a rugged construction that resists dust, dirt, oil and water; n the ability to generate calibration tables and store calibration data on-board; n a choice of sizes (37–300mm) and mounting formats; n a duplex mechanical format that provides electrical redundancy, for enhanced safety; and n immunity to magnetic fields. The sensors are configurable in terms of connections, voltage, single- or multi-turn outputs, and support for digital protocols. ‘World’s highest data precision’ controllers cut defects and wastage ‘Ground-breaking’ inductive encoders handle extremes Omron says that its new controllers will help to reduce defects and wastage