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OMRON Releases N-Smart Series of Sensor Communications Units and Fiber and Laser Sensors

December 3, 2012

Kyoto, Japan -- OMRON Corporation (TOKYO:6645) (ADR:OMRNY) announces the release of the following new products:

Sensor communications units
  • Sensor communications unit for EtherCAT E3NW-ECT   To be released in January 2013
  • Sensor dispersion unit E3NW-DS   To be released in January 2013

N-Smart fiber sensors  E3NX-FA series   Released on December 10
N-Smart laser sensors
  • Compact laser sensors E3NC-L series   To be released in December
  • Ultra-compact CMOS laser sensors E3NC-S series   To be released in December

All of the above products belong to Omron's new next-generation sensing system, N-Smart.
The N-Smart series features user-friendly sensors with stable detection capabilities and open network connectivity with optimum cost-performance, and contributes to improving productivity by applying information from sensors to device control and maintenance.

Using fiber sensors or laser sensors in combination with the N-Smart sensor communications unit E3NW-ECT allows connection via EtherCAT. Up till now, each cluster of sensor amplifiers has required its own sensor communications unit. Omron's newly developed sensor dispersion unit E3NW-DS with slave functions enables communication over open networks - keeping initial costs down and obviating the need to shift the location of any sensors.
The operability and sensing performance of the N-Smart fiber and laser sensors have been vastly improved. Unifying the basic operation of each amplifier has reduced the time required for learning how to operate them, and also makes it simpler to upgrade to new models. The amplifiers also feature the sensor industry's first white digital display improving display readability. E3NX-FA series fiber sensors have a sensing distance that is 1.5 times longer than previous models, and the minimum detectable object size is ten times smaller. E3NC series laser sensors are the smallest*1 CMOS-embedded laser sensors in the industry.

The N-Smart series will be continually expanded and enhanced to include a wide range of sensors and compatibility with a variety of open networks.

*1. According to an investigation by Omron in November 2012

Main features of the E3NW series sensor communications unit

  1. Low-cost open sensor network
    E3NW-ECT N-Smart communication units enable fiber / laser sensors to communicate over ultra-high-speed open network EtherCAT. With the E3NW-DS dispersion unit connecting sensors over Omron's original sensor network, DS-Bus (patent-pending), the communication unit provides low-cost open network connectivity.

    The E3NW-ECT sensor communications unit for EtherCAT is compatible with Omron's "Sysmac automation platform," the lineup of which has been steadily expanded since its introduction in July 2011.

  2. Rapid acquisition of detected values from sensor amplifier units
    Conventional sensor communications units were slower to acquire detected values from sensors, making them inappropriate for use in applications where detected values were used to control actions such as the positioning of rapidly moving workpieces. The E3NW series sensor communications unit enables high-speed, high-precision control by acquiring detected values of 30 sensors in 1 ms (300 times faster than Omron's previous models) with Omron's original high-speed communication technology.

  3. Sensor amplifier condition monitoring contributes to predictive maintenance of devices.
    The sensor communications unit's sensor reading function can be used to predict future trouble with sensor amplifiers through drops in detected values.
    Additionally, sensor amplifier malfunction and DPC warnings can also be detected and this contributes to quick restoration of devices when sensor amplifiers operate abnormally.

  4. The number of connected amplifier units is automatically recognized.
    Conventionally, it was necessary to input the number of sensor amplifiers connected to a communications unit in order to confirm their connection. E3NW series sensor communications units can automatically determine the number of connected amplifier units. When they are turned on, they can automatically detect whether the number of connected amplifier units has increased or decreased and immediately report an amplifier connection error to superordinate devices if the number of connected amplifier units has decreased. In addition, the number of connected amplifier units can be determined at any time, and this allows you to know if amplifier units are operating properly.

Main features of the E3NX-FA fiber sensor

  1. Compared to Omron's previous model, the sensing distance is 1.5 times longer, and the minimum detectable object size is ten times smaller.
    Basic performance is enhanced by the highly efficient coupled device GIGA RAY2S that features a clear signal and wide dynamic range*2, and by the "Smart Noise Reduction" light-receiving algorithm (patent-pending). In addition, the high-speed, high-precision "N-Core" IC supports the ultra-high-speed response time of 30 μs. The above features greatly expand the range of fiber sensor application, and also contribute to the long-term stable operation of devices. Conventional fiber heads can be used.
    *2. Dynamic range: the range of possible sensitivity settings

  2. "Smart Tuning," which enables anyone to easily input optimal settings, has been further enhanced with a dynamic range expanded 20 times to 40,000:1.
    The dynamic range has been expanded from the 2,000:1 range of previous models to 40,000:1 when using OMRON's original "Smart Tuning" technology, using which, an operator only needs to press a button twice to set the threshold*3 and optimum incident level simultaneously. This makes it easy to avoid saturating incident levels, which has been a problem when trying to boost LED light emission, and it helps to expand the range of applications. Moreover, it makes it possible to avoid saturation of the incident level even at the short distance of 1.2 mm.
    *3. Threshold: the limit of sensor output for a certain measurement value

  3. Visual representation of actual sensing condition with the setting assistance functions "Solution Viewer" (patent-pending) and "Change Finder" (patent-pending)
    With the "Solution Viewer" function, the passing velocity of a workpiece and light intensity fluctuation are displayed in real time. You can easily set threshold and response times. They are quantified with numerical values, so the sensing condition can be shared smoothly from remote locations. With the "Change Finder" function, light intensity fluctuation of rapidly moving workpieces can be displayed, supporting definite threshold settings - this was not possible with previous models.

  4. A wide-ranging lineup
    Along with the standard 1-output type, a 2-output type and an external input type are also available. The 2-output type can support the maintenance of the DPC function that automatically compensates for fluctuations in received light intensity. This is useful for predictive maintenance because signals can be outputted when received light intensity decreases due to dirt accumulation or vibration. A model compatible with OMRON's original E3NW sensor network will be released simultaneously.

  5. Unifying basic operation with the simultaneously released laser sensor amplifiers
    Unifying the basic operation of the N-Smart fiber and laser sensors improves the usability, and reduces the time required for learning how to operate each type of sensor. The amplifiers also feature the sensor industry's first white digital display improving display readability. Operators can easily read the values from a distance, helping to reduce eye strain.

Main features of E3NC series laser sensors

  1. The industry's smallest laser sensor with CMOS (41mm x 28.8mm x 13mm)
    The E3NC-S series sensor head is the smallest for a laser sensor with CMOS in the industry. This enables detection in narrow spaces where sensors were not able to be installed previously. Additionally, the CMOS embedded in the light-receiving element enables stable detection regardless of the material and color of the target object.

  2. High durability in harsh environments
    The E3NC-S series has the protection level of IP67, and the E3NC-L series has that of IP65. They are highly durable in harsh environments, providing a great deal of installation environment flexibility.

  3. Variable spot sizes support a wide variety of applications.
    E3NC-LH02 laser sensors have the new function of adjusting spot size with a winder lock system. You can adjust the spot size freely by turning a winder dial, which is like winding the knob of a watch. Special tools are not required to set the winder dial, so operators can easily adjust the spot size onsite. By narrowing down the spot size, small objects can be detected, and long distance detection (1.2 m max.) is possible. Broadening the spot size improves detection stability.

  4. Unifying basic operation with the simultaneously released fiber sensor amplifiers
    Unifying the basic operation of the N-Smart fiber and laser sensors improves the usability, and reduces the time required for learning how to operate each type of sensors. The amplifiers also feature the sensor industry's first white digital display improving display readability. Operators can easily read the values from a distance, helping to reduce eye strain.

Main Specifications

E3NW series Sensor Communications Unit

Items Specifications
Model E3NW-ECT E3NW-DS
Communication method EtherCAT DS-Bus (Omron's original communication technology)
Power consumption / current consumption 20.4 to 26.4 VDC /
2.4 W max. (not including sensor power supply),
100 mA max. at 24 VDC (not including sensor supply current)
Connectable sensors Fiber sensor: E3NX-FA0
Laser sensor with separate amplifier: E3NC-LA0
Smart BGS sensor: E3NC-SA0
Maximum connectable sensors 30 (distributed slave unit: 8) 10

E3NX-FA Fiber Sensor

Items Specifications
Light source (wavelength) Red, 4-element LED (625nm)
Power supply voltage 10 to 30 VDC, including 10% ripple (p-p)
Power consumption
(standard model)
Power supply voltage 24 V:
Normal mode: 960 mW max.
ECO mode: 840 mW max.
Response time Super-high-speed mode: 30 μs
High-speed mode: 250 μs
Standard mode: 1 ms
GIGA power mode: 16 ms
Number of units for mutual interference prevention 10 (optically synchronized)
Maximum connectable units 30
Auto Power Control (APC) Always effective
Power Tuning ON/OFF selectable
Bank Switching Select from BANK 1 to 4

E3NC series laser sensor

<Heads>
Items E3NC-LH01 E3NC-LH02 E3NC-SH100 E3NC-SH250
Type Laser sensor CMOS laser sensor
Sensing distance 70 mm ±15 mm 1,200 mm 35 to 100 mm 35 to 250 mm
Laser class (IEC/EN, FDA) Class 1
Degree of protection IP65 IP67
Beam size 100 μm 800 μm max. 500 μm 1000 μm
<Amplifiers>
Items E3NC-LA E3NC-SA
Power supply voltage 10 to 30 VDC, including 10% ripple (p-p)
Power consumption Power supply voltage 24 V :
Normal mode: 1,560 mW max.
Power supply voltage 24 V :
Normal mode: 1,920 mW max.
Response time Super-high-speed mode: 80 μs
High-speed mode: 250 μs
Standard mode: 1 ms
GIGA Power mode: 16 ms
Super-high-speed mode: 1.5 ms
High-speed mode: 5 ms
Standard mode: 10 ms
GIGA power mode: 50 ms
Maximum connectable units 30
Bank switching Select from BANK 1 to 4

* EtherCAT® is a registered trademark and patented technology, licensed by Beckhoff Automation GmbH, Germany.

About OMRON

Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, OMRON Corporation is a global leader in the field of automation. Established in 1933, Omron has more than 37,000 employees in over 35 countries working to provide products and services to customers in a variety of fields including industrial automation, electronic components, social systems, healthcare, and the environment. The company has regional head offices in Singapore (Asia Pacific), Beijing (Greater China), Amsterdam (Europe, Africa, and the Middle East), Chicago (the Americas), Gurgaon (India), and Sao Paulo (Brazil). For more information, visit OMRON's website: https://www.omron.com/

Contact
Kazuhisa Asaumi (kazuhisa_asaumi@omron.co.jp)
Industrial Components Div. HQ,
Industrial Automation Company
OMRON Corporation
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