Omron launches software, sensors, safety controller, RFID reader/writer

Schaumburg, IL—Omron Electronics LLC has introduced five new products that it says will help it meet increasing demand for quality, traceability, safety, and environmental capabilities.

By Control Engineering Staff July 2, 2004

Schaumburg, IL— Omron Electronics LLC reported at its annual Technology Connection Symposium that it achieved double-digit growth and profitability during the past year. To continue this success, Omron also introduced five new products that will help it meet increasing demand for quality, traceability, safety, and environmental capabilities. The five products include:

CX-One, CX-Integrator software
As an integral part of Omron’s CX-One software, a technology set that Omron says is ideal for industrial automation applications in assembly and packaging, CX-Integrator simplifies programming, accelerates startup, and simplifies maintenance for a whole facility. CX-Integrator gives users a graphically displayed portal through which users can access all network information and devices, creating a dynamic window into their systems for a machine or facility. Configurations in the system are simplified with “drag-n-drop” parameter setting, while users programming individual devices can quickly launch programming tools by clicking on the appropriate icon.

Omron’s CX-One simplifies and reduces the cost of programming, debugging and starting up automation systems, and reduces maintenance costs throughout the system’s operating life. Function blocks and Smart Active Parts require near zero programming, simplify controller programming, and allow high-maintenance content on operator terminals for very little effort. CX-Integrator functions both as the access portal to this system and as the interface for reporting system status and problems in real time and in easy-to-read graphical format.

F210 CF vision sensor
Focusing on optical character recognition, such as date and lot codes, Omron’s F210 CF date verification vision sensor monitors printed codes for readability and rejects packages with unreadable, incomplete or missing codes. At the same time, it alerts system operators of the defects, so that corrections can be made before large numbers of products are affected. Savings in material waste can be substantial, and customer confidence is maintained because only clearly marked products go to market.

F210 CF enables 100% inspection of codes inline. The system automatically updates date codes daily without operator intervention, and recognizes various date formats, including “manufactured on” and “best before” configurations. Setup and changeover is simplified, and can be done through a handheld keypad, rather than a PC. Extensive internal character libraries eliminate the need for teaching characters.

F210 CF is reportedly ideal for use in food and beverage packaging operations, where clear and accurate date codes are essential.

ZX laser sensor
Omron’s new ZX laser measurement sensor system features a single amplifier unit that supports 11 different sensing heads interchangeably, eliminating the need to buy unique amplifiers for each sensing head. Heads available include eight visible red laser reflective sensing heads and three through-beam heads. Reflective heads available include diffuse and specular reflective options, which form spot or line beams.

ZX’s calculating module compares two ZX sensor inputs; performs math functions; and then activates control outputs for thickness and jam detection measurements. ZX’s amplifier includes two numeric displays and keys for inputting values and setting values. Teaching functions sim-plify setup of high/pass/low discrimination outputs and analog transfer output to a SCADA system. Omron also offers an optional ZX communication module with accompanying software that snaps into the amplifier, allowing communication with a PLC to enable step-by-step setup of advanced functions and diagnosis of incompatibles and direct data logging.

ZX sensor is ideal for use on packaging lines to detect rejects, and on production lines to verify proper positioning of work pieces.

F3SX safety controller
Through a single central module, F3SX safety controller integrates monitoring and functioning of individual safety devices, such as light curtains, safety doors and emergency stop buttons. This increases reliability of safety systems by reducing the possibility of mis-wiring complex safety interlock systems or operator overwriting, while increasing the difficulty of operator tampering. The system also provides continuous data logging on the status of safety devices.

Two main modules are available. F3SX-N monitors and reports broken lines to warning displays, which alert operators about potential problems. F3SX-E module is a maintenance-free unit designed for use with equipment using high-frequency start-stop operations. Individual device modules plug into the prewired main module, eliminating unnecessary wiring and reducing maintenance costs.

F3SX is ideal for industrial operations such as robotic automotive assembly lines, manufacturing operations and packaging lines where safety is a prime concern.

RFID reader/writer
Omron’s new V740 RFID reader/writer is compatible with UHF (915 MHz) and HF (13.56 MHz) frequency bands. One model of the V740 offers 4 UHF ports and 2 HF ports, both multifrequency and multiprotocol with simultaneous actions. These enable the unit to communicate with tags using both EPC (Electronic Product Code) and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards. The user can now interact with a wider range of tags, supporting global handling of goods. V740 also uses TCIP/IP protocol for communications, allowing it to be easily added to existing management networks.

V740’s UHF/HF capability is ideally suited to inventory and material handling applications in supply chains, where RFID codes have begun to enhance bar codes for supply chain management. Some large retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Target, already have mandated RFID coding of pallets and cases beginning in the first quarter of 2005.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor