Tightly integrated safety: the fourth dimension

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Omron Industrial Automation is a leading manufacturer of technologically advanced industrial automation products and application expertise.

No one doubts the importance of functional safety in modern automation systems. Safety is a responsibility that all plant operators take seriously because of the potential impact on personnel, systems and the environment if “something goes wrong”. A system failure or mal-function that is not detected immediately can have dire consequences.

Today, machine safety is a corporate responsibility. The challenge is to find a way for plant operation and functional safety to become more intimately connected. Omron’s philosophy as a vendor of “automation solutions” is that integrated safety presents a new opportunity to deliver a “seamless offer” that spans inputs, logic and outputs to build on the advantages of networked systems. The recently-launched NJ Controller family was a decisive step towards the integration of three automation dimensions – control, motion and vision; the complementary NX Safety Controller family adds a fourth – functional safety.

Omron and safety

Omron, of course, has always been associated with ‘safety’ and its broad portfolio of safety input and output devices ranks among the best in the world. The benefits of  Omron safety products depend on the application. For example, there is the advantage of using rope pull e-stop switches in the conveying line, which makes can cover up to 200m without need for separate emergency stop buttons. Or consider the range of light curtains and multi-beam sensors, with built-in intelligent features such as muting. In the field of robots, where high speeds and huge forces are inherent, you can take advantage of the intelligence and coverage of laser scanners, where a precise segment of the operating area of a robot, or a defined material access point, can be monitored for human incursion. Safety logic and outputs are another Omron speciality.  The big safety message from Omron is: we can provide the devices to protect your system, seamlessly, across the entire input-output logic chain, and all from a single supplier.

Sysmac NX Safety Controller

It’s a safety proposition that is significantly enhanced by the new Sysmac NX Safety Controller, which you can read about elsewhere in this issue of Technology Trends. NX is much more than a ‘me-too’ solution. It supports a fully distributed safety I/O architecture that allows safety inputs, logic and outputs to be freely placed anywhere in the Sysmac control network. The NX I/O system is a genuinely new approach to safety that complements Omron’s existing portfolio of inputs, logic and outputs. Furthermore, the tightly-integrated combination of Sysmac NX and NJ in a distributed safety architecture enables the NJ Controller to utilize safety input signals, albeit in a non-safe way, hence simplifying network architectures.

With Omron, the safety chain works; risk can be entirely eliminated, either locally to fix a specific issue or plant-wide to address the needs of distributed control architectures.

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Omron Europe

Omron Industrial Automation is a leading manufacturer of technologically advanced industrial automation products and application expertise. From its European headquarters in Hoofddorp, near Amsterdam in the Netherlands, she operates locally in every European country and is dedicated to providing unrivaled automation products and customized expert solutions for any industry.

The product portfolio includes state of the art Factory Automation services & Know-How, Sensors and Safety, Mechatronics and Drives, Industrial Components and Vision Systems.