MechChem Africa

Omron has released a new Industrial PC (IPC) platform for the connected future: a rugged Windows-based PC range that is available with a built-in Sysmac machine controller. MechChem Africa talks to Omron field application engineer, Driaan Coetzer.

Omron IPC NY Monitor“Our new NY Industrial PC has been designed from first principles to be powerful, reliable and scalable, making it ideally suited to visualisation, data handling, measurement and real time control applications,” begins Coetzer.

“For openness, all the computers in the range use the Windows operating system and an Industrial Box PC version and an Industrial Panel PC with an integrated touch screen are both available,” he adds.

From a power perspective, Omron IPCs are available with fourth-generation Intel® Celeron®; Intel 2-core i5 and 4-core i7 processors, so that fit-for-purpose solutions can be matched to appropriately powered IT systems.

Omron IPCs are designed specifically for machine usage, making them ideal for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Combining innovative design with high levels of reliability, these IPCs come with the machine controller from the Sysmac family. “So it is a PC with full versatility and connectivity≥ Not only does it offer open access to a wide range of programs, but it also has the machine control capability of a state-of-the-art Sysmac PLC dedicated to running servo systems; inverters/VSDs; and multi-axis drives on robots, OEM manufacturing machinery or integrated automation systems,” Coetzer explains.

The combination is mooted to be the ‘perfect fusion’ between Sysmac machine control and Windows IT technology. “The two platforms operate simultaneously but separately. “The controller cannot be hacked. The real-time machine network and Windows operating system function 100% independently of each other, so even if Windows crashes or is disabled for any reason, the controller will be unaffected. The automation system will continue to operate as normal,” he assures.

With the added benefit of the industrialised touch screen, this package replaces traditional automation solutions that use PLCs with HMIs and then have to be connected to a computer-based master controller in a control room. “Omron’s IPC solution empowers automation engineers to explore manufacturing innovation that can leverage big data, natural user interfaces (NUIs) and the IoT without compromising proven PLC reliability and robustness,” Coetzer tells MechChem Africa.

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