Omron Opens R&D Center With Advanced Machine-Control Focus
Omron has opened a new research facility in CA geared towards advanced motion control systems.
Omron’s New R&D Facility
Omron recently announced the launch of the Omron Advanced Motion Research and Development Center. Located in Chatsworth, CA, this new facility will house around 40 automation engineers, as well as a small production facility to prove and demonstrate the integration of new products in the manufacturing industries. The engineers will be regionally available for consultation and integration assistance as well as to keep up with industry demands for complex and computationally-challenging machine motion.
The facility will allow Omron to continue innovation that was started by a recent acquisition, Delta Tau Data Systems, while adding their own contributions to their research projects. One of the leading projects is the Programmable Multi-Axis Controller (PMAC), which is generally agreed upon to be the most complex in the world.
“With Omron’s continued investments and focus on resources, we’re continuing to lead innovative solutions in the field,” says Curt Wilson the Senior Director of Engineering at the Advanced Motion Division at Omron. “Today we are excited to continue this work together [with Delta Tau Data Systems] developing elite motion control systems that control some of the world’s most complex and demanding applications.”
Advanced Motion Control Research
Advanced motion control includes devices such as the PMAC. One of the latest PMACs, the CK3M series, has been designed for nanoscale-level precision control. This makes it suitable for the semiconductor, medical, and scientific research industries, which require extremely fine control. This controller can be used for operating lasers for ablation, sintering, and cutting, as well as directing the flow of nozzles in additive manufacturing, just to name a few of its applications.
The CK3M motion controller. Image used courtesy of Omron
The CK3M is one example of the kind of devices that are being created at this facility, and only one in the many projects that have yet to be developed. Besides control systems, Omron develops code readers, servo motors, encoders, and other automation parts to translate the position desired from the software into a physical location on the hardware. The most accurate calculation in software is only as good as the hardware system that can detect the current position and provide the fine feedback signal to fine-tune the position.
This servo and controller have a 23-bit resolution, meaning positions can be repeated with incredible accuracy. Image used courtesy of Omron
The position resolution must be paired with an excellent time resolution. High-speed movement is possible with sampling resolutions in the tens of microseconds range. This allows for thousands of programmed movements per second.
Multi-axis motion control is commonly used for linear motion in both large and small systems. These can include large hydraulic systems with precise cylinder position and velocity control, as well as electric actuators with linear and rotary axes for systems such as robotics, CNC technology, and manufacturing with laser and tooling controls, as previously noted. Feedback must be returned from the motion system in order to recalculate a new command in almost real-time, illustrating the need for high-precision and high-speed calculations.
Overview of Omron
Omron (OTCMKTS: OMRNY) has been developing instrumentation and automation solutions since 1933. Their products can be found in the automotive, semiconductor, petroleum, natural gas, mining, and many other manufacturing industries. Currently, Omron has over 30,000 employees and has a global footprint in the manufacturing market.
Besides manufacturing the hardware, Omron also provides technical services and training, as well as runs research and development centers for new automation products. The Omron Advanced Motion Research and Development Center will help support the goal of finding new ways to meet the ever advancing customer demands for smarter, more agile, and more efficient motion in their automation systems.