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All OMRON Controllers with OPC UA are Certified


    OPC UA has been adopted as the recommended standard of Industry 4.0, and the attention to OPC UA is increasing more and more as the interoperability standard of the world that supports manufacturing DX (digital transformation). Moreover, the expression such as “supporting OPC UA” has become the de facto phrase to indicate a solution in the Industrial IoT can help realize smart manufacturing. These include “Easy to connect because of OPC UA” and “OPC UA with strong security.”

    In this situation, the spread of OPC UA is accelerating, and it is an important standard both for OMRON and our customers. OMRON has been actively supporting global open industrial network and connection standards for a quarter of a century. From sensors to control, information, and upper-level connectivity, OMRON provides products that are all compatible with international standards and open standards that are becoming increasingly common.

    We believe that OPC UA will become more and more important in order to collect the information of field devices such as sensors and robots, controllers, and devices, to connect it with upper level IT, to analyze and use it, and to realize a higher level of traceability.

    Expansion of OPC UA Supporting Products

    OMRON first began providing an OPC UA Server in 2018, and has included it as standard in the NX102 Series and NJ501 Series Machine Automation Controllers. And from January 2021, an OPC UA Server has also been built into the flagship NX701 Series as a standard feature.

    The NX701 Series Machine Automation Controllers are capable of motion control of up to 256 axes with a control cycle of as fast as 125µs. Therefore, the NX701 series is used in machines and processes that require high speed and high accuracy, or that require large scale control. For example, high-speed filling and packaging machines for beverages and pharmaceuticals, and winding and stacking processes for automotive lithium-ion batteries. These devices and processes require not only high-speed, and high-precision control, but also connection to MES and production systems, and storing data for quality traceability systems. For these applications, the NX701 series is equipped with an OPC UA Server and direct connection to the database for upper-level connectivity, allowing two upper-level linkages to be used together.

    These two upper-level interfaces are also available on the NX102 series, the downsized model of the NX series.

    Renewed OPC UA Certification

    OPC UA aims to realize “The Industrial Interoperability Standard”. In order to achieve this, it is important to build a system using products that are truly connected and reliable. The OPC Foundation calls this “compliance” and offers several services. The most important service is “Certification Testing”.

    The OPC Foundation ensures that OPC UA products have a certain level of reliability through certification testing. The OPC Foundation operates a dedicated test laboratory for this purpose. When a product passes the certification test, the OPC Foundation issues a certificate and a certification logo. The certification is valid for three years.

    OMRON’s Machine Automation Controller NX701 Series OPC UA Server has also been certified. NX102 and NJ501 series has renewed and received the certification again in January 2021.

    The OPC Foundation recommends the use of certified products. Anyone can see the certified OPC UA products on the OPC Foundation website, so users can choose a trusted product when considering the adoption of OPC UA products.

    In addition, in order to further increase awareness of OPC UA, OMRON has published an original web article explaining OPC UA in an easy-to-understand manner. The article is available in English, Chinese (simplified Chinese), and Japanese.

    Minoru OKA
    Global Product Manager, Controller