Contribute to Realize Carbon Neutrality Through Color Sensor
Demonstration of high-efficiency maintenance through visualization of equipment condition with Daikin Industries, Ltd.

  • October 19, 2022

OMRON Corporation (HQ: Shimogyo-Ku, Kyoto. President and CEO: Yoshihito Yamada) announced today that it will release B5WC Color Sensor for industrial embedding that detects slight color changes and differences globally on November 1st, 2022. This color sensor monitors oil deterioration in hydraulic equipment*1 used in industrial machinery in real time using colors to monitor the condition of the oil. Providing maintenance at optimal timing is indispensable for manufacturer. In addition, minimizing production losses within a manufacturing site contributes to carbon neutrality. The B5WC offers an innovative solution to these issues.
OMRON will continue to expand its solutions by co-creating with customers to solve social issues.

Color sensor B5WC (left: product photo) detects oil deterioration by color changes and monitors equipment condition in real time (right: conceptual image)Color sensor "B5WC" (left: product photo) detects oil deterioration by color changes
and monitors equipment condition in real time (right: conceptual image)

There are several issues that can impact manufacturing production. At manufacturing sites oil contamination is frequently a cause of failure of industrial machinery and hydraulic equipment. Maintenance personnel are relied upon to conduct a visual check for such contamination, often by performing periodic inspection and part replacement based on their intuition, tricks, and experience. Often production stoppage losses due to sudden equipment breakdown are incurred by inconsistent judgment from each person in charge. In addition, delays in inspection timing have been a longstanding issue. There is also the increasing need for higher efficiency in maintenance and remote monitoring due to a severe shortage of labor and limited mobility due to the COVID pandemic. However, size and cost of additional components have stood in the way of solving the problem.

The "B5WC" to be released this time is a sensor to be embedded in the equipment that can quantitatively monitor oil deterioration based on color changes. Utilizing OMRON's strengths in sensing technology and optical design technology, the new product can be easily integrated into the equipment because of its compact size (W:40mm x D:8.4mm x H:15.9mm) and communication method (I2C), which are suitable for embedding in the equipment. This sensor helps customer to remotely monitor equipment in deterioration in real-time thereby leading to the visualization of the equipment and the reduction of man-hours required for inspection and maintenance. It offers solutions to solving problems faced by the industrial machinery and hydraulic equipment industries through highly efficient and systematic maintenance.

In preparation for its introduction, the B5WC has been undergoing field tests since April 2018 on the "Eco-Rich R"*2 hybrid hydraulic system provided by the Oil Hydraulics Division of Daikin Industries, Ltd. to solve issues through co-creation by the two companies.

The Oil Hydraulics Division of Daikin Industries, Ltd. supports automation and energy conservation of industrial machinery, which plays a fundamental role in manufacturing, through hydraulic systems with advanced energy-saving performance that utilize motor and inverter technologies cultivated in the air conditioning business. Hydraulic fluid in the hydraulic system was inspected and changed about once a month by plant maintenance personnel. By combining the knowledge and expertise of the two companies, a solution has been created that visualizes the state of oil deterioration in hydraulic equipment and achieves maintenance at the optimum time through unified management in the plant's centralized control system. Furthermore, it contributes to the realization of carbon neutrality by minimizing losses associated with production stoppage and energy consumption due to sudden failures of hydraulic equipment caused by oil deterioration.

OMRON will continue to create and globally provide solutions based on advanced devices and modules to solve social issues through its customers' products and services.

*1縲Hydraulic equipment: Equipment used to power machine tools in factories as well as power shovels and tractors. Daikin Industries, Ltd. has achieved energy savings in machine tools with a hybrid hydraulic system that combines motor and inverter technology cultivated in the air conditioning business with hydraulic control technology.

*2縲Hybrid hydraulic system "Eco-Rich R": Hybrid hydraulic system developed by Daikin Industries, Ltd. mainly for factory machine tool applications.

Field Testing with Daikin Industries, Ltd.

  • Monitoring oil deterioration in hydraulic equipment
  • By installing a color sensor next to the hydraulic tank of Daikin Industries, Ltd.'s "Eco-Rich R" hybrid hydraulic system, the oil deterioration status of each piece of equipment can be quantitatively monitored by color.

By installing a color sensor next to the hydraulic tank of Daikin Industries, Ltd.'s Eco-Rich R hybrid hydraulic system, the oil deterioration status of each piece of equipment can be quantitatively monitored by color.

The hybrid hydraulic system "Eco-Rich R" is installed in each machine in a factory as a power source for industrial machinery, including machine tools. Color sensors are used to remotely monitor oil deterioration in the hydraulic tanks of each machine tool in real time, and unified management through the factory's centralized control system enables the plant maintenance personnel to replace lubricant at the optimum timing for each machine.

Lubricating oil replacement for only the necessary equipment can be planned for optimal timing.

笳 Exhibiting at trade shows
Applications utilizing this sensor will be exhibited at the Daikin Industries, Ltd. booth at the 31st Japan International Machine Tool Fair "JIMTOF2022" to be held at Tokyo Big Sight from November 8 to 13, 2022.

Major applications
竭Drink dispenser
Signal output according to the color detected by the color sensor allows configuration of equipment operation based on the color information of the object. The ability to identify the color of the cup and serve a set drink contributes to the multi-functionality of the equipment and automation of operations. It also reduces beverage disposal losses due to wrong button operation.

Image of application in a drink server

竭。Object detection on the production line
The presence or absence of an object to detect can be confirmed by using a signal output from a color sensor for each color of the detected object. Detecting objects by color contributes to stable operation of equipment.

Object detection on the production line

竭「Monitoring of lubricant deterioration in arm robots, elevators, etc.
A color sensor monitors the oil color of the drive parts, allowing quantitative assessment of oil deterioration for each piece of equipment by color, contributing to more efficient equipment maintenance.

竭「	Monitoring of lubricant deterioration in arm robots, elevators, etc.

Color Sensor Principle

Color Sensor Principle

A color sensor uses a white LED as its light source to emit light and receive reflected light (the ratio of red, green, and blue is unique to each color) determined by the color of the detected object. The color sensor separates the reflected light received into red, green, and blue, and outputs the red, green, and blue data (RGB data) as voltage values using the I2C communication method.
For example, in the case of red and yellow detected objects, the red, green, and blue output values from the color sensor are different for red and yellow reflected light by the white LED, allowing differentiation of red and yellow.

Product Specifications

Model B5WC-VB2322-1
Sensing distance 40 mm (white paper)
Light source White LED
Power supply voltage 5 VDCツア5%
Current consumption 18 mA max. (at 5.25 VDC)
Communication method I2C communications supported
I2C output Output voltage value for red/green/blue: 0.45 Vツア20% (gray reference plate, at sensing distance of 40 mm), Output saturation voltage: Typ 2.75 V (output voltage range: 0 to 2.75 V), SCL/SDA input H voltage: 2.54 to 5.4 V, Input L voltage: 0.9 V max., SDA output L voltage: 0.44 V max. (at output current of 3 mA)
Sampling period 1 msec
Data refresh period Sampling period (1 msec) x Average count (1 to 50 times)
Ambient temperature range Operating: -10 to +70ツーC, Storage: -25 to +80ツーC (with no icing or condensation)
Product website AM:

About OMRON Corporation
OMRON Corporation is a leading automation company with its core competencies in Sensing & Control + Think technology, and is engaged in a wide range of businesses including industrial automation, healthcare, social systems, and electronic components. Established in 1933, OMRON has about 30,000 employees worldwide, working to provide products and services in around 120 countries and regions. In the field of industrial automation, OMRON contributes to the advancement of manufacturing that will support a sustainable society through solutions and service that innovates our customers窶 production sites. For more information, visit

Contact from Media
OMRON Corporation
Brand Communications Department
Marketing Communications Group
Tel: +81-75-344-7175

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