descarca revista Technology Trends Nr.18/2013 (EN)

descarca revista Technology Trends Nr.18/2013 (EN)
No.18 | EU
High performance
in Safe machines
Technology & Trends
04. Integrated Safety in motion
12. Face recognition meets HMI
16. Fast data logging
High performance in Safe machines
New trends and developments in the market
continue to have a major impact on the
requirements of machine builders all over the world.
For instance legislation ensuring that manufacturers
proactively implement preventative measures
that help improve food safety and minimize
recalls. Or -of course- safety, that has been
a requirement for years, where its effective
integration in the machine control is the new
challenge that machine builders are facing. At
the same time, final product customizations are
becoming more and more demanding so the
production industry requests higher and higher
production speed and faster changeover.
These complex requirements and faster machines
are creating the need to log more data to
keep on top of running processes, or to meet
compliance with supply-chain regulations.
In this issue, we show how we are addressing all
these challenges. You can discover how safety
can integrate seamlessly with advanced machine
control and how fast and safe data logging can be
easily achieved. You can read about the way your
HMI will look in the future, it is already here for us,
and about improved inspection and temperature
control to increase your productivity. We show
how some top machine builders are addressing
their market challenges around the world.
Enabling high performance in safe machines is
what it’s all about.
John van Hooijdonk,
Marketing Manager Automation
Sysmac Integrated Safety
Reduce time spent in planning, installation,
programming, set-up and start-up.
Automatic packaging tailored
precisely to an individual product
Jomet enables multi-product online retailers
output up to four times more products.
Vision Meets HMI
Face-recognition technology helps
think intelligent and react quickly.
g Attribute
g Behavio
CPU Unit integrated
Sysmac Studio
into the Sysmac NJ controller
User Program
Connection Service
A compact and costDBeffective
way to
log data from high speed machines.
DB Connection Instruction
DB Mapping
SQL statement
Shape recognition
DB access
When recovered (n)
DB ta
10x faster image detection during
packaging inspection.
When transmission failed (m)
EM Area (non-volatile memory)
Spool memory
Direct Power Control on FFS machines
Pre-compensating large increases or drops
in jaw temperature.
Field1 Field1 Fi
Data 1 Data 1 D
High performance in Safe machines
Integrated Safety achieves
the highest level of
Productivity and Flexibility
The industrial automation processes, as well as the machines, are becoming
increasingly dynamic. The need to increase productivity, flexibility, ergonomics
and safety, as well as the need to reduce interruptions to production has become
indispensable. All the technologies and components must easily inter-change
information in order to fulfill these requirements. Omron’s Sysmac safety solution
was born to meet all the possible safety scenarios and requirements.
If the machine is in automatic mode and a mobile guard is opened, all the
dangerous movements that may occur within a given area will be stopped
by the safety circuit. On the contrary, when starting-up or adjusting the
machine in manual mode, all mobile guards should be open in order to have
free access to any given area. To avoid injuries, each dangerous movement
must be reduced to a non-dangerous speed and monitored by safety
components. On the other hand, if a very precise adjustment must be made
using full speed or power, another working mode such as manual 100%
speed, or semi-automatic is needed. Using this mode, mobile guards can be
closed or opened depending on the needs of the adjustment. To control the
quality of the production and to collect samples manually, a new operating
mode must be implemented as well, and new safety functions must be
designed. If you press an emergency stop pushbutton, the entire machine
stops the dangerous movements.
The complexity of one single machine increases when the machine is linked
to several machines under the same process line: a new machine is technically and legally formed, with all safety functions and exchange signals
linked. This results in a large number of safety components attached to one
single machine, but shared by many others.
NJ Controller
Safety over EtherCAT frame
Sysmac Studio
EtherCAT telegram
NX Safety Control. Omron’s integrated safety solution with Sysmac.
Easy becomes simple and simple is safe
The trends and tendencies towards integrated
safety bring many technical advantages and only
few disadvantages. For simple machines, the
integrated safety reduces:
•The automation complexity, due to the easy interconnections and dialogue among all the components.
•The number of components, due to all the different
languages that merge and become a standard interface where all devices can enter dialogue safely.
•The reaction time and safety distances.
•The restart time after triggering a safety function.
•The unexpected manipulations.
•The programming time, due to the use of the same
programming software environment and reusability
of programs.
•The wiring and start-up time.
•The troubleshooting time due to the full diagnostic
The integrated safety also increases:
•Machine or production line productivity.
•Machine modularity.
•Scalability on functions and complexity.
•Accuracy in all processes, because of fully
integrated diagnostics.
•Diagnostics all the way from the wiring
to the component.
When using integrated safety, the cost of the components is slightly higher, but it reduces exponentially
the time spent during the planning, installation, programming, as well as during the set-up and start-up.
Easy for
the Manufacturer
Easy for
Initial Safety Inspection
Easy for
the End User
Easy for
Periodic Safety Inspections
Use and understand
Detecting modifications
Hardware I/O
Machine construction
Logic combinations
Understand the errors
Hardware I/O
Modify (*)
Logic combination
Tests or checks
Upgrade or add functions(*)
Re-use the hardware (**)
(*) If you are authorized
(**) Depending on the life time specifications
High performance in Safe machines
Safety Hardware
Any integrated safety system should accept signals
from any kind of safety sensor as inputs. From a very
basic electro-mechanical switch with potential free
contacts to wear-free sensors using pulsed inputs or
output signal switching device (OSSD), regardless of the
detecting technology needed. All safety devices, either
at Performance Level or Safety Integrated Level, can be
contained in one single system. Omron’s Sysmac safety
solution is perfectly designed to do this.
free potential
Codified Magnetic
Inductive Sensor
Transponder Sensor
(Single-Code, multi-Code)
Protective Equipment
Passive infrared
protective devices
Optoelectronic Sensor
Direct Reflection
Electronic with potential(PNP)
Digital with
Test Pulses (1ch)
Digital with
Test Pulses (1ch)
delay/mirror feedback
Optoelectronic Sensor
Diffuse Reflection
OSSD ( 2 channels)
Vision Based Protective Devices
Analog signal
The powerful combination of the programming software Sysmac Studio and the safety CPU, can manage up
to 2MB of program load, or 1024 digital inputs/outputs
in just one network. The Sysmac Studio also supports
the IEC 61131-3 programming standard and the
PLCopen Safety compatible function block and instructions. The integrated safety solution allows information
sharing directly between the safety program and the
standard program without extra work, just by defining
the variables in the safety area. The sharing of non-safety
signals in the safety program is also easy. The safety function blocks provided by Sysmac Studio, cover everything
from a basic mathematical function, up to the safety
functions such as emergency stop, guard or locking
guard monitoring, electro-sensitive protective
equipment (light curtains, scanners...), working mode
selector, muting functions, special sensitive devices
(single beam sensors, safety mats, bumpers, edges...),
footswitch or 2hands, etc. You can even elaborate your
own safety function blocks or macros and try them with
the off-line simulator.
The troubleshooter integrates and monitors down to
the last cable or movement, detecting shorts and cross
shorts in the wiring, and checking all safety function
blocks with all diagnostics, without effort for the programmer: you will have the same information as if you
are in front of the machine.
Some technological trends, such as the safety Wi-Fi
networks, are the only solution in some applications, but
not applicable in many others. The Ethernet for Control
Automation Technology (EtherCAT) is one of the fastest
protocols that exists today, which includes the possibility of integrating safety, Fail Safe over EtherCAT (FSoE).
Together, these two features offer many possibilities.
Any dangerous movement from a machine or production line can be stopped in three different ways:
• Standard control system. This system is driven by
the control system (PLC).
• Normal safety stops. These stops are normally
triggered by safety sensors: In these stops, the power is
just reduced, decreased or controlled in a multioperational, dynamic way, only from the local area
where the guard or protective device is installed.
• Emergency stop. This stop is normally triggered by
someone in a potentially dangerous situation. The
machine must be stopped immediately no matter
what the consequences may be.
Situations in which the dangerous movements must be stopped (with or without power):
The typical types of outputs of local or remotes that can be found in the integrated safety system, as well as the most
dynamic motion safety functions integrated in the servo-drives or in the inverters, can be found in the following
table. Safety in motion is one of the most important trends that is being developed by component manufacturers.
with the
correspondent PL/
Normal Situation
Safety Situation
Triggered by
Guard or protective
the power
is active
the power
the power
Situation Triggered
by Emergency
Stop Push button
with small
Yes, sometimes with
few delay
Yes, normally exhaust the
driven the
fluid to the
Omron’s Sysmac safety solutions are based in two
safety-CPUs and they are approved up to PL e or SIL 2,
which can manage up to 128 safety node connections
with a program capacity of 2 MB, with integrated I/O
refreshing mode. Regarding inputs / outputs: there are
also two models with 4 and 8 inputs and the can be
used for any safety level, and we can provide a model
with 2 outputs with 2 A. PNP and a 4 output model with
0.5 A.PNP. The relay output will come very soon.
Over Safe-Network
Safe Acceleration Range
Single Channel
Safe Brake Control
Dual Channel
Safe Break Test
Dual Channel
Bipolar (+; -)
Safe Direction
Safe Cam
Safely-limited acceleration
Safely-limited increment
Safely-limited position
Safely-limited Speed
Dual Channel
(test pulses)
Safely-limit Torque
Dual Channel
Safe Operating Stop
Bipolar (+; -)
Safe Stop 1
Safe motor Temperature
Safe Stop 2
Safe Speed Monitor
Safe Speed Range
Safe Torque Off
Safe Torque Range
High performance in Safe machines
Customised packaging
- on the fly
There was a time when many suppliers would use manual
systems to create customised secondary packaging to protect products during the delivery process from distribution
centre to customer or retail outlet. However, with volumes
from online retailers increasing by up to 40 percent a year,
hand-packing is no longer a viable option in most cases.
setting-up for a new size could take half a day. Jomet
uses servo technology, which enables all of the key
machine parameters (movements, timing, positioning)
to be set on the fly: essentially making the same adjustments that a human packer might do, but ten times
faster - and much more accurately.
In recognition of this issue, Jomet, a Finnish company
specialised in flexible automatic packing and palletizing
systems, developed a solution which is designed to
create packaging tailored precisely to an individual
product or products, and to do so automatically. The
concept is protected by several patents and has always
relied on Omron technology. Its latest model benefits
from the Sysmac automation platform.
The original prototype was developed for a major online
retailer in 2008, and it was so successful that the customer has installed several more machines over the past
five years for distribution centres all over Europe. The
technology works by first measuring each product, using
vision sensors, and then setting up the machine, using
servo technology, to create the pack round the product
or products.
Previous systems for making secondary packaging
would be set-up to make one type at a time: and
There are substantial savings in both material and
transportation costs. The packaging material - typically
bi- or tri-wall corrugated board – is automatically cut to
size and folded to size, with double-folds as necessary
to provide protection. This cuts down the need for filling
material, and minimises wastage. Bar-coded labels and
delivery notes can be printed at the same time and
included in the pack. And because the packaging is
precisely tailored to the product, there is no shipping of
empty space – just the product and its packaging.
One of the many attractions of the system for multiproduct online retailers is that it can be used to pack a
number of items (for example, DVDs and books) in the
same customised carton. These packs are created much
more efficiently and cost-effectively than would ever
be possible with manual packing, enabling retailers
to output up to four times more products than was
previously possible.
Since they developed the original prototype, Jomet has
supplied such machines to a number of other online
suppliers. Omron’s Sysmac platform enables the technology to be easily adapted to suit the needs of individual
end-users and product types. Programming and product
development time are minimised, and new automation
technology can be efficiently incorporated.
The B2C market – suppliers with online shops delivering
products directly to customers – is continuing to grow,
and each retailer has its own challenges to meet. Jomet’s
solution, with Omron’s support, is able to answer their
Watch the video:
High performance in Safe machines
(and beating)
the China challenge
In China since 1983
48 offices nationwide
40+ e-learning modules
20+ traditional learning course in 11 locations
One-hour repair pick-up
We all know that Chinese machinery market is from several
years a reality that European and American machine
builders cannot ignore. Where the lower end market in
China has a strong local predominance, the local market
for higher performance machines is still highly dominated
by western import. So, where the local builders are now
pushing to find further growth opportunities in India and
in other emerging markets, the European ones are still
enjoying a healthy growth, but not without challenges.
A growing demand for high-end machines
There is a growing demand in China for more sophisticated equipment, where European manufacturers can
demonstrate decades of experience. Exploiting this
demand has its own complications. For a start, European-standard machines will have to be localised to suit
24-hour parts replacement
60 hotline support staff
24/7 hotline support
100+ online technical product forums
350 R&D engineers & technicians
the specific demands and requirements of Chinese end
users. This must be handled quickly and efficiently, and
calls for sensitivity and a clear understanding of the local
market and how it operates.
Most high-end European machine makers began their
foray into China by relying on their western workforce
to get production moving and to handle the issues of
localisation and commissioning. Some manufacturers
still rely on existing design and production facilities but
others have taken the step to produce locally.
However, as many western manufacturers have discovered, establishing a local manufacturing base has many
pitfalls, and going it alone can be difficult and expensive.
For a start, there is the need to source specialised parts
and systems – which might not be available globally – at a cost effective
price. Regular and effective training of local staff is also necessary, as is the
need to establish good local engineering expertise. Fast, reliable and effective commissioning is always important, as is the need for effective aftercare.
It’s also the case that some facilities could simply be too expensive to
establish locally. R&D departments, test laboratories and similar technical
functions make a big difference to the process of localisation, but they also
call for considerable investment. It makes good business sense to look
for other ways of providing these functions, without the need to make
unsustainable commitments.
Long-term support is also an issue. Chinese end users are no different from
those in any other market in looking for consistent uptime through the
working life of the machine. This calls for a reliable source of good-quality
replacement parts that can be delivered and fitted quickly; skilled, efficient
and local technical support; and repair facilities that can minimise downtime
by identifying issues and fixing them before they become major problems.
Work with companies who know and understand the market
All these complex issues need to be addressed, and the right solutions
found. So what to do? Give up and do something else instead?
Omron China wins Best Customer
Service awards
In the “2012-2013 Best Customer
Service in China” assessment program,
organised by the China Information
Industry Association and the China
Association of Trade in Services, Omron
Automation (China) Company Ltd
won three separate awards (Award for
China’s Best Service Center, China Best
Service Award and an award for China’s
Best Customer Service Manager). The
selection process lasted eight months
and used mystery clients to assess the
way in which participating companies
handled a range of unannounced
contacts. The awards were presented
Well, no. Every business that has become successfully established in the
Chinese market knows that choosing the right business partners can solve
most of these issues. And for high-end machine builders, reassurance will
come from working with an established automation supplier who can
provide all the support needed.
to Omron China’s Vice-President Customer Service Center Long Xu Weihua
(centre) pictured with two of his award-winning staff representatives.
Commenting on the awards,
Mr. Long said that these are the
This support will come in a number of ways. For a start, advanced training
facilities and a nationwide network of offices will bring staff up-to-speed
quickly, ensuring rapid start-up, effective localisation and a reduced time-tomarket. Automation partners should also have skilled and knowledgeable
engineering teams, fast local and cost-effective availability of parts, and field
service staff who know the importance of preventative maintenance.
industry standards for customer
service, and he was honoured to
receive them on behalf of Omron.
“It shows that Omron understands the
importance of customer support, in
addition to product quality, service and
the competitiveness of our clients,”
he said.
The Chinese market is not an easy one to penetrate, but it’s not impossible.
With the right planning and - vitally – the right business partners, the opportunities for European machine makers are considerable - and growing.
High performance in Safe machines
Meets HMI
Helping machines to think intelligently and react quickly
To enable its customers to make better, faster, safe machines, Omron is
increasingly using ideas initially developed for the consumer market. OKAO
face-recognition technology, familiar to smartphone and digital-camera users,
will soon be used to protect machines from unauthorised access or dangerous
working practices. New technologies are dramatically changing the way we will
interact with machines. As a result, the machine interface will provide invaluable
information to everyone involved in machine use, from operators to support staff,
and from machine makers to end users.
Recently, Omron’s Industrial Automation Division has been working closely
with a team of experts from Omron on technology known as OKAO (literally
‘Face vision’ in Japanese). OKAO is already used worldwide in smartphones
and cameras to take the perfect picture when the subject is smiling.
It’s an extraordinary example of Omron innovation because OKAO can
recognize, analyse and process the facial features of anyone in any situation,
assessing factors such as gender and emotional state. It can simulate human
understanding by detecting positional changes and analyzing behaviour
and even intentions - for example by determining the direction of gaze and
recognizing body movements such as hand gestures.
R ecogniz
ing Attr ib
Po ectin
sit g
R ecogniz
OKAO works by looking at facial
features such as the eyes, and
their relationship with adjacent
features such as the nose or mouth.
Using patented statistical analysis
techniques and ‘training’ the system
using huge sample numbers (many
millions have been sampled to date),
it is possible to fit a 2D model to a
3D facial shape and create a reliable
‘identity’ for a particular face.
Boost safety and prevent
unauthorised machine access
Developments like OKAO bring
new ways for users to interact with
machines. For example, OKAO could
help to boost safety and prevent
tampering by identifying someone
from a distance and verifying them
as a person who is (or is not) allowed
ing B eha
to work on the machine. In the
automation environment, OKAO
could enable a machine to decide
how close an unauthorised person
is allowed to come before, say,
switching off moving parts.
OKAO could go even further.
Today’s HMIs incorporate touch
screens, so an engineer or operator
must be close-by to operate them,
and passwords must be entered
manually: why not have the machine
recognise who is using it? This would
ensure that only an accredited
person is allowed to change
configurations or access production
OKAO could even respond to body
movements, such as hand gestures,
from a distance. If an engineer were
unable to access the HMI directly,
this could save valuable time and
get the machine back online more
Redefining our relationship
with machines
There are enormous possibilities
with OKAO technology, and Omron
is keen to bring them to the
industrial automation market. But
it is not the only way in which our
relationship with machines will be
redefined. Take, for example, the
use of data. Stand almost anywhere
in the world today and you will
probably see someone using a
smart phone, digital tablet, or media
player. They are using social media
or the internet to keep up to date,
processing their emails, managing their finances and of
course making the occasional telephone call. In short,
they are using data.
This is the digital world, and it has dramatically changed
how, when, where and why human beings interact with
devices. It is perhaps no surprise that these technologies
are starting to have a major impact on the requirements
of machine builders. Their core objectives have not
changed: build a machine that is robust and reliable, and
that creates a product as efficiently as possible. These
goals will never change, but now technology is allowing
new and innovative ways for users to interact with their
Better, safer machines –
through improved data access
At Omron, we are developing the future, and adapting
the changing role of the HMI to bring new value to
machines. Tomorrow’s world is more focused on the
‘Machine Interface’ as a gateway to machine data –
from anywhere in the world. The primary task of the
High performance in Safe machines
HMI is increasingly one of data transformation, making
the machine data understandable to a whole variety
of different consumers. Whether that consumer is an
operator in front of the machine, an engineer on the
other side of the world, or an ERP system, the role of the
Machine Interface is to transform the data and make it
accessible when needed.
Accessing and using more data will help designers to
create more efficient machines, end-users to maintain
increased throughput with lower wastage, and machine
makers to deliver better lifetime support. As you will
read in this issue, Omron’s objective is to help deliver
this promise of higher performance in safer, faster, more
reliable machines.
Trends in short
No production
slow-down at
Entering the
Meeting needs
high-end market of demanding
in Europe
Italian packaging machine specialist, Clever,
Beta-Pak Otomatik Paketleme, Turkey’s
The Converging Solutions Pack Stacker is
recently developed a heat-shrink sleeve appli-
leading packaging-machine maker, export its
widely used in the UK food industry for auto-
cator using a film cutter on electronic cams.
high-quality thermoforming machines to 35
matic stacking of pre-formed packs. When the
Compared to conventional solutions using
countries across the Middle East and North
company wanted to compete in non-food
mechanical cams, this electronic architecture
Africa and is now expanding its business into
markets and other countries, they needed to
allows operators to change product and
Western Europe.
make the machine do more, and do it faster.
format without reducing production speed,
The partnership with Omron has enabled
by setting the pitch of the feed screw and the
Efficiency and reliability are key characteristics
ConSol to develop their latest stacker with
length of the film. Omron NJ-Series Machine
for all packaging equipment, but particularly
increased functionality, faster set-up, greater
Controller enables operators to modify both
for those used in the food industry, where
flexibility, and improved diagnostics. Modular
the label application phase on the bottles as
unplanned downtime can lead to products
construction, allied to Omron’s “plug-and-play”
well as the cutting phase. Importantly, PID
being spoiled and/or wasted. With an ex-
technology, reduces build time and optimises
internal learning inside the PLC is used to
tensive market outside of Turkey, Beta-Pak’s
reliability to maintain machine uptime.
adjust all parameters automatically.
customers look for machines that are both
globally available and well supported.
High performance in Safe machines
the power of data
to create faster, safer machines
It’s a familiar saying: “Knowledge is power”. But this
familiarity does not devalue the fundamental truth of the
axiom: we need knowledge to make decisions, and the
more we know, the better our decisions will be. Omron’s new
data-logging system is designed to ensure that machine
data can be recorded accurately, comprehensively and
safely, and fully integrated into an organisation’s database
management process. The result will provide information
needed to optimise production, improve quality and
increase machine uptime.
Data from machine operation has the potential to be
a powerful management resource. However, fulfilling
that potential requires data handling systems that can
control, manage and analyse the information efficiently
and effectively. For OEMs and end users, the ability
to harness the power of high-quality machine data
can provide deep insights into production efficiency,
enabling changes to be made that are based on
practical evidence.
Data can be used to analyse process management
or create audit logs; it can be employed to monitor
equipment to help plan replacements or preventative
maintenance programmes; it can provide a measure
of production efficiency; it can be used to determine
profitability or cost-effectiveness over different runs,
batches or shifts; and it can be a vital decision-making
tool in future planning. It is also increasingly necessary to
show compliance with supply-chain regulations.
A compact and cost effective way to log data
However, information about machine operation is
only really valuable if the data is valid, complete and
protected from tampering, which calls for a robust and
efficient data-logging solution. Omron has answered
this call by integrating into the Sysmac NJ controller a
compact, off-the-shelf and cost-effective way to log data
from high speed machines working on synchronised
operations in an industrial environment.
The data-logging solution can record everything needed
to analyse production processes and ensure quality
on all levels. It’s a truly comprehensive system, where
all data can be simultaneously logged through the
same unit, from passive sensor values to smart data
and internal control variables. This enables users to
drill down to the root causes of incidents, to analyze
failures and machine downtime, and to optimize energy
and materials use. It also provides valuable input for
statistical process control, Pareto analysis, or any other
quality-management tool.
The database-connection software is incorporated in the
Sysmac NJ controller. No other hardware or middleware
is needed, and this direct connection ensures that
data transfer is both fast and secure. This security is
further enhanced by username/passcode protection
for connecting to the database server, and the data is
encrypted during transfer. In addition, if the connection
to the database server is interrupted for some reason,
the data is spooled on intermediate storage in the
controller, ready for transfer once the server connection
is restored.
As with everything else on the Sysmac platform,
programming the database connection in the NJ
machine controller is really easy. Standard function
blocks are available for control, status reporting and
transfer of the data, and once it’s set up, the database
connection can be constantly monitored.
Traceability and compliance
Traceability has become a key issue in recent years.
The EU’s Good Manufacturing Processes Directive and
the USA’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 21
CFR Regulations both lay down strict guidelines on
maintaining process records that are trustworthy and
secure, and that provide a guarantee of acceptable and
repeatable quality. The Omron data-logging system
provides an easy-to-use, efficient and convenient way to
help you to comply with all these requirements.
Fully integrated
The value of machine data can only be maximised if it
is widely available to all relevant stakeholders. Different
departments and teams can use the information –
either on its own or with other data – for process
improvement and analysis, management reporting, and
auditing.This integration into enterprise systems is easily
achieved by an organisation’s own IT department, using
standard technologies. There’s no need for specialised
Omron data-logging is an industry first, designed to
help machine-makers, OEMs and end users to set
up a formal system for recording machine data and
storing it securely. The system creates an accurate and
reliable audit trail of what has happened, over time, on
a production line. By integrating machine data into an
organisation’s wider database management, the Omron
solution delivers major benefits to companies who want
to exploit the full potential of this resource.
CPU Unit
User Program
DB Connection Instruction
DB Connection Service
abc MapVar
DB Mapping
SQL statement
DB access
When recovered (n)
When transmission failed (m)
EM Area (non-volatile memory)
Spool memory
Spooling function - In case of communication error the data will automatically be stored in the spool buffer.
High performance in Safe machines
Shape Recognition
New image processing methods enable more than 10x faster detection during packaging inspection
High consumer expectations regarding information on food products, pharmaceuticals and non-food products,
as well as new legal requirements, mean that producers have a growing need for inspection solutions that check
whether this information has been applied correctly. In addition to final inspections, these producers are increasingly
using in-line inspections at critical points in the corresponding processing steps.
Image processing for high speed packaging processes often a compromise between speed and precision
The inspection of exterior features of packaging, as well as printed information on labels or packaging, plays a central
role in this process. These are the first elements that consumers see and are often a decisive factor in their purchasing
decision. They can even have legal consequences. However, increasing cost pressures in production mean that faster
processing speeds are being used. For many inspection systems this represents a major challenge when it comes
to precise detection of objects, including possible special cases in variable environmental conditions. The necessary
computing power is often high and is associated with a reduction in processing speeds.
Runtime Speed
Input Image Size
Root mean Square Errors
By using new image processing algorithms (e.g., edgebased sparse features, variation absorbing templates etc.)
and ultra-fast, parallel hardware architecture, the new
FH optical inspection system from Omron can achieve
detection speeds that are more than 10x faster than
conventional inspection systems. Compared to previous
algorithms, it can even achieve 100x faster speeds while
also increasing detection quality.
size changes
Shape Search III
Binary-image based
Gray-image based
Edge based
Sparse-edge based
Minimization of gray
Peak Detection from
neighboring correlations
Rapid minimization of
gray difference
Error minimization
between corresponding
Sparse edge detection algorithm solves problems
of previous image processing algorithms
Each decade since the 1980s has seen a breakthrough in
image processing algorithms for object detection.
In the 1980s, binary image based algorithms enabled
relatively rapid object detection. This rapid algorithm
was adapted to the very low computing power available,
but demonstrated sensitivity to noise, lighting changes,
shadowing, low contrasts and other conditions.
By the 1990s, hardware speeds were increasing rapidly,
allowing for a more accurate analysis of the image gray
scale value while reducing the number of problems
encountered at low contrasts.
In the 2000s, edge-based algorithms brought about
improvements with regard to lighting changes
and shadowing, though these algorithms still had
disadvantages when it came to blurring and
low contrasts.
The new sparse edge detection algorithm takes the
information that is used and reduces it to clearly
identifiable and representative points.
This eliminates the possibility of errors occurring while
also achieving significant improvements in speed.
Variation-absorbing method increases stability
and speed through variation prognosis
In conventional inspection systems, minor deviations in
the position of objects, e.g., due to a vibrating conveyor
belt, can inhibit error-free or rapid processing of image
information. Any countermeasures taken in the software
to compensate for these errors may significantly reduce
computing power, thereby reducing processing speeds.
Often, a compromise must be reached between
reliability and speed.
The new variation-absorbing method (patent pending)
predicts possible variations in the representative points
of the tracked objects. These variations are summarized
using an intelligent clustering process. An analysis
of these clusters reduces detection errors, while the
processing speed remains high due to the low memory
usage. This ensures that high-speed image processing
can be completed with ten times the level of precision
(e.g., by comparing the root mean square error).
Smart visualization method enables intuitive
image optimization even for inexperienced users
The criteria for achieving an object image that is as clear,
stable and as simple as possible to process, are extremely
complex. In the past, an improvement in this original
image for processing by inspection systems was often
judged by trial and error or by using expertise built
up over many years. The new visualization and image
optimization concept of the Shape Search III software
in the FH inspection system from Omron makes it easy
to improve the image, even for inexperienced users.
The software uses an intelligent approach that links the
factors that influence the image and presents them to
the user in such a way that intuitive optimization can
be achieved.
High performance in Safe machines
Direct Power Control
Maximising speed and quality in each
process stage on FFS machines
Growing populations and greater disposable incomes have resulted in increasing consumer demands for improved product
availability, and at lower cost. This in turn has led directly to pressure on machine makers to create equipment that will
pack more products, and deliver them faster. On Form, Fill and Seal machines, widely used in the food and pharmaceutical
sectors, temperature control is one of the key influences on both the speed and quality of delivery – which is where Omron’s
2-PID and Direct Power Control technologies can make a real difference.
Form, Fill and Seal (FFS) machines are widely used
for high-speed packaging of products such as nuts, confectionary and other foodstuffs, as well as for
pharmaceuticals. This type of machine offers a number
of benefits, of which one of the most important is the
system’s versatility. FFS machines can be used for a very
wide range of products, and the packaging material –
usually flexible foil or film, fed from a roll – can be quickly
switched, which enables pack changes to be easily
made. This is particularly important with products such
as snacks, where the same line is often used to package
many different varieties.
Precise temperature control is essential
The packaging material is formed round the product
and sealed using a heated jaw that clamps on to the foil
or film to create a high-quality closure. Control of this
sealing process is vitally important in optimising the
speed and quality needed to achieve high throughput
and minimise product or material wastage.
Three factors impact on this: the jaw closing-pressure;
the timing; and the temperature of the sealing jaw.
Motion control systems take care of the pressure and
timing, but temperature control is equally important. If
the jaw temperature is 2°C more than the set-point, the
seal could burn; 2°C too low and the seal could be either
inadequate or non-existent. If wastage and damage is to
be prevented, precisely the correct temperature must be
achieved right from the start of production, and maintained throughout the production process.
An added complication is that the quality of the seal
is affected not only by the temperature of the jaw but
by the ambient conditions, the temperatures of the
packaging material, and the product itself. For example,
products that are wet, chilled or frozen can cool the film
or foil, which can cause the seal to fail unless compensating heat is applied. One option is to design machines
with bigger sealing jaws, to retain heat for longer.
Another is to pre-heat the foil, although this is not
always possible or permissible.
A further consideration is that, during the production
run, the film absorbs heat from the jaw at each seal,
causing a slight fall in temperature. This means that the
jaw needs to be reheated before the next seal can be
completed (see figure 1).
Start Machine
Stop Machine
Defective product below this temperature
Figure-1: Bad seal at startup
Run at full speed from the start
Further issues occur when production is paused or stopped for some reason – for example to change product or
packaging type. At re-start this can cause the jaw temperature to fall away rapidly, and inadequate seals will
result unless this can be recovered immediately – see
figure 1. On the other hand, there will also be problems
if there is a short stop the jaw becomes overheated. The
ideal is to maintain a consistent temperature at all times.
The only guaranteed solution is to control precisely the
temperature of the sealing jaw at each stage of the operation. Omron’s 2-PID algorithm has been developed to
ensure that during a production run the jaw temperature quickly recovers after each closure, so that it is maintained at the optimum level each time a seal is made.
This is possible because the unique auto-tune facility
built into Omron’s 2-PID temperature control will
optimise the system for a fast-disturbance process, such
as sealing on an FFS machine. This brings the seal-jaw
temperature back to set value almost instantly, ready for
the next closure.
That takes care of the production run, but when a fastmoving FFS machine moves from production to idle and
back again, the balance in the PID control loop is disturbed. This causes a drop in temperature which could
result in incorrectly sealed packages, and consequent
material and/or product wastage.
High performance in Safe machines
The optimum is fast and faultless production
To achieve the optimum of fast and faultless production
from the start, the seal-jaw is pre-compensated for any
drop in temperature. This is achieved using Omron’s
Direct Power Control (DPC) technology, which is
embedded into the Sysmac NJ Series machine controller.
The DPC function block is loaded with the PID parameters and other information such as machine and timing
values, which enables the seal-temperature and timing
profiles to be calculated using the machine controller
(see figure 2).
Start Machine
Stop Machine
Defective product below this temperature
works, download the Omron White Paper about the DPC
Function Block technology.
The Sysmac NJ machine controller, using the DPC
function block technology, integrates temperature
control, timing and jaw pressure with the running of
the FFS machine, so that wastage resulting from poor
seal-quality should be eliminated. Moreover, because
the DPC technology compensates for heat-loss, there is
no need for bigger sealing jaws: machines can be made
with lighter and less expensive jaws, which in turn reduces energy use. For systems integrators, machine makers
and the end-user, the business benefits are clear – and
readily available.
Figure-2: Result when using DPC, no bad sealing so good packs right from the start
Thus, in brief, the PID/auto-tuning system compensates
for temperature variations during the production run,
but once the machine stops or needs to restart, DPC takes over, compensating for the larger increases or drops
in jaw temperature. For full information on how this
Entrec: FFS specialists now using Sysmac
Belgian manufacturer Entrec specialises in the sale and rental of
FFS machines, especially retro-fitting flow-wrap systems to existing lines. Omron has been working with Entrec, showing how to
integrate the Sysmac platform into their flow-wrap FFS machines.
Sysmac provides a robust machine control system that will work
with any third-party device, so that Entrec could implement the
platform easily. And because the necessary technologies (like
Function Blocks and 2-PID) are already incorporated, stand-alone
temperature controllers are unnecessary, which was particularly
interesting to Entrec.
Technology in short
A set of solutions that hit the target
Whatever type of automated machinery you are specialized in, you know that there are many ways to innovate. You
are already aware that there are many possible areas for improvement. But where do you start? Where do you focus
your efforts? Where can you make the biggest difference with the least amount of effort? By identifying the answers
in specific industries we developed the ‘targeted technologies’ concept. It’s a way of thinking about technology,
according to our customers’ most pressing needs. The result is a set of solutions that make immediate impact on the
core of our customers’ businesses:
Sysmac: the all-in-one platform
Sysmac is the latest machine automation platform from
Omron with integration throughout. It is a powerful and
robust automation platform with a new machine automation controller (Sysmac NJ), that integrates motion,
sequencing, networking and vision inspection, a new
software (Sysmac Studio), that includes configuration,
programming, simulation and monitoring and a fast
machine network (EtherCAT) to control motion, vision,
sensors and actuators.
361: The perfect match
When it comes to sensors and components, we know
that our customers all have different needs. That’s why
our product development in this area is driven by the
361° Approach. It produces product families that offer
a total all-round choice. From quality products suited
to standard environments to specialist devices that can
handle extremes. The 361° Approach not only provides a
complete all-round offer without gaps, it also puts you at
the very centre of the product selection process.
Colophon & Contact
Publisher: Omron Europe B.V.
Wegalaan 67-69
NL-2132 JD Hoofddorp
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0) 23 568 13 00
Fax: +31 (0) 23 568 13 88
Copyright: Omron Europe B.V., 2013
Specifications subject to change without notice.
Although we strive for perfection, Omron Europe BV and/or its subsidiary and
affiliated companies do not warrant or make any representations regarding the
correctness or completeness of the information described in this document.
We reserve the right to make any changes at any time without prior notice.
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF