23 Jul 2024


Family of 600 control devices could cut panel sizes by 20%

Omron is introducing around 600 different control panel devices, in 18 different product categories, all built to a common design platform and incorporating a proprietary rapid wiring technology. It says that the components, which are all the same height, will reduce dead space in panels by up to 50% and cut panel sizes by up to 20%.

The new range includes electromechanical and solid-state relays, I/O relay terminals, switch-mode power supplies, terminal blocks, temperature controllers, timers, measuring and monitoring relays, power monitors and UPSs. It is based on market research with 300 customers around the world who were quizzed about their needs and challenges when designing and manufacturing control panels.

Most citied the labour as being the single most significant cost to their businesses, with wiring usually being the most time- and labour-consuming operation. In response, Omron claims that its patented Push-In Plus wiring technology will cut wiring times by up to 60%. It is easier to use than inserting an earphone, Omron asserts.

The technology holds the wires firmly in place and needs less insertion force than conventional screw-type terminals. A spring-based mechanism ensures high pull-out forces, but the resulting solid connections can be released quickly during maintenance or panel upgrades.

The soft-touch technology could also reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries (RSI), Omron suggests.

All of the new devices have a smaller, standard component height than before, allowing for standardised placement of wiring ducts and components to optimise panel space.

Compared to Omron’s previous products, the new family is claimed to reduce dead space in panels by up to 50% horizontally and 20% vertically. More importantly, the hot spots that can build up in small spaces are greatly reduced, potentially enhancing component reliability.

“The lifetime of an electronic component, like a power supply containing an electrolytic capacitor, may be halved for every 10°C rise in temperature,” points out Lars de Bruin, Omron’s EMEA marketing manager for panel solutions.

The slim in-panel components have widths as small as 3.5mm, while the on-panel components need less depth than before. This means that panels using the new components can be up to 20% smaller than those using conventional components. Reduced power consumption, and thus heating, allows the components to be mounted side-by-side at ambient temperatures of up to 55°C, freeing up more panel space.

Data for all of the main products will be available from an online library. This data can be imported into panel design software including Eplan and, in the future, Zuken E3. Omron is also offering downloadable 2D and 3D CAD files in the most popular formats.

The products include:

•  switch-mode power supplies claimed to be the world’s smallest globally applicable supplies, which occupy 36% less volume than Omron’s previous products;

•  17.5mm-wide timers with two relay outputs that use 60% less power than Omron’s previous timers, and are expected to last three times as long; and

•  a nine-model range of measuring and monitoring relays thought to be the first with transistor outputs.

All of the devices have the necessary certifications, including UL, CE, and CSA.

In parallel with the new devices, Omron has developed a global network of emergency distribution bases in 35 countries to service its control panel portfolio.