Proximity sensors equipped with IoT features for maintenance

3rd June 2019
Lanna Cooper

OMRON has released a total of 2,512 models of its DC 3-Wire E2E NEXT Series proximity sensors, which boast the longest sensing distances, newly equipped with IoT features. These sensors reduce risks of sudden facility stoppages down to a third. They also detect warning signs of such stoppages and notify users via the network. They help improve facility operation rates by preventing unforeseen facility stoppages and reducing facility down time.

At manufacturing sites, unforeseen facility stoppages are a major management issue, directly linked to lost production opportunities. To minimise down time, manufacturers must procure on-site maintenance personnel to address unforeseen failures. Manufacturers are looking for ways to utilise smart devices and IoT to maintain and improve facility operation rates without relying on human experience or skills.

Current proximity sensors characteristically have short sensing distances, and this comes with certain risks. For example, equipment vibration may cause the sensor body to move too far away from or come in contact with the sensing object. Such incidents are said to account for approximately 20% of facility stoppages.

The E2E NEXT Series proximity sensors (DC 3-Wire Models) are equipped with OMRON’s own thermal distance control 2 and PROX3 hybrid circuitry technologies, which enable sensing distances that are at least twice as long as in previous models, and reduce risks of such facility stoppages by a factor of 3.

Distances between sensor bodies and sensing objects are constantly monitored, and users are notified via IO-Link communication if they become too great or too small. This allows users to identify warming signs of sudden facility stoppages, which in turn allows for timely maintenance, all in all enabling stable facility operation without having to rely on the experience or skills of maintenance personnel.

OMRON set forth a concept called ‘Innovative-Automation’ consisting of three innovations or 'I’s' - ‘integrated’ (control evolution), 'intelligent' (development of intelligence by ICT), and 'interactive' (new harmonisation between humans and machines). OMRON’s endeavour is to dramatically improve the productivity and quality on the ground in the manufacturing sites.

To this end, OMRON will continue to expand its line-up of IoT-enabled control devices, and, with the help of its clients, expedite the 'intelligent' element (i.e. making manufacturing smarter) in manufacturing sites, which is key to delivering on the 'innovative-Automation' concept.

Key highlights of the E2E NEXT Series Proximity Sensors (DC 3-Wire Models):

  1. Longest sensing distances, at least twice that of OMRON’s previous products. This allows for more spacious design with less risk of contact.
  2. Technologies for stable long distance detection: Thermal Distance Control 2 and PROX3 hybrid circuitry. This enables stable long distance sensing capabilities by measuring with high precision each sensor's characteristics under multiple temperature conditions, and calculating correction values using OMRON's own polynomial algorithm, which are then written into the sensor’s PROX3 hybrid circuitry.
  3. Equipped with IO-Link as a standard. This allows users to know in real time, from a single location, the state of multiple sensors, which in turn enables early identification of the site and substance of failures.
  4. Broad model line-up. OMRON offers a line-up of 2,512 models that come in a variety of physical sizes and with different sensing distances to cater to different needs.

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