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Machine controller simplifies semi applications

17 October, 2014

Omron has announced a machine controller that is aimed at simplifying semiconductor industry applications and cutting development costs and lead times.

The controller, part of Omron’s Sysmac automation platform, supports the SECS/GEM (Semi Equipment Communications Standard/Generic Equipment Model) communications protocol that the semiconductor industry uses to define communications between manufacturing equipment and host computers.

The protocol is used globally in the production of semiconductors, flat-panel displays and solar panels. Usually, when a machine controller, such as a PLC, is connected to a host computer to perform SECS/GEM communications, a separate computer or a special communication device and/or software are needed, pushing up equipment costs and lead times.

Omron’s new NJ501-1340 CPU integrates the machine control and communications functions, allowing it to be connected directly to a host to establish SECS/GEM communications, without needing a separate computer or communications device.

Omron says its machine controller will cut the cost of implementing semiconductor industry applications

Omron has also produced a SECS/GEM configurator which, it says, will help to simplify SECS/GEM communications, cutting the time needed to set up such systems by more than 60%.

Unlike previous controllers, the NJ series are programmed using variables and therefore avoid complicated address setting and management. The controllers are part of the Sysmac automation platform that Omron launched in 2011. The platform integrates logic sequencing, motion, safety and vision via a single seamless connection with various I/O devices, such as servo drives and vision sensors.

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