Bin Picking and Palletizing with Omron Cobot

Posted June 23, 2021 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Omron

The Omron TM collaborative robot, available from Innovative-IDM, when equipped with the new 3D vision camera, is able to pick up known objects with random overlapping positions out of a bin. Traditionally, this was difficult to automate because of varying weights, shapes and orientations of objects that require 3D location and different forces during picking. The 3D camera locates objects and sends their coordinates to the robot, while the software makes the advanced calculations required for optimized trajectory and force to pick up objects.

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Feb. 27 DFW – Omron Smart Manufacturing Tech Showcase & Workshop

Posted January 24, 2020 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Omron

We and Omron are hosting a FREE Tech Showcase and Workshop at Innovative-IDM's DFW (Lewisville/Coppell) training center, Thursday, February 27. This event, held in several cities across North America, is FREE to design engineers, plant managers and others interested in IIoT and industrial connectivity.

See below for all the details. REGISTER HERE! Spaces are limited. Download the agenda here.

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EtherCAT Means Devices Can Communicate, No Matter the Manufacturer

Posted February 16, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Omron, Yaskawa

Tags: , , , ,

EtherCAT can connect to all manufacturers

Design engineers love EtherCAT because of its ability to mix and match between various components from different manufacturers.

When choosing an Ethernet communication platform for industrial machine control, it’s hard to ignore the virtues of EtherCAT. Its ability to mix and match between various components from different manufacturers makes EtherCAT a popular choice among integrators and design engineers.

EtherCAT is the fastest industrial Ethernet technology and has unmatched bandwidth utilization. This makes it an excellent choice for machine control, according to the EtherCAT Technology Group.

Omron’s NJ machine automation controller offers EtherCAT as a built-in communication network. And thanks to EtherCAT Technology Group’s testing for device compliance, users are assured that a certified device will work with other certified devices. This means users can confidently mix and match vendor EtherCAT certified hardware.

For instance, you can pair an Omron NJ controller with Yaskawa VFDs and Yaskawa servomotors, both of which have received EtherCAT conformance certification. This type of multi-vendor system might cause headaches on many other networks. But with EtherCAT, a skilled integrator can have these devices talking very quickly.

How to connect an Omron NJ to a Yaskawa EtherCAT servo amplifier

  • First, download and install the EtherCAT ESI from from Yaskawa. The ESI file is a free .xml format file Yaskawa created and published in accordance with EtherCAT standards. This file contains all the information needed by an EtherCAT master (the Omron NJ) to successfully control the EtherCAT slave (the Yaskawa amplifier).
  • Next, add the ESI file into the Omron ESI library. It can now be used by Omron’s NJ programming software, Sysmac Studio.
  • Inside Sysmac Studio you now need to add the Yaskawa device to your EtherCAT network map. This can be done by dragging and dropping the image form the library onto the network (this is only possible because you successfully loaded the ESI file). You will need to match the node address setting on the Yaskawa amplifier rotary switches to the node you assign in the software.
  • Finally, you need to map the communication objects such as the control and status word. This is easily done using the Detailed Settings within the axis of Sysmac Studio using the drop down lists provided.
Matt Meeker


That’s it. Within minutes, you can have functioning communication and control between an Omron NJ controller and a non-Omron EtherCAT device.

Matt Meeker is one of our customers' most highly-sought after resources for automation and controls systems advice. Matt also teaches classes on PLC programming at all of our branches or onsite at manufacturing facilities. You can reach Matt at

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How to back up Omron CJ PLC

Posted February 11, 2016 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Blog, Omron

Tags: , ,

If you want to back up Omron CJ PLCs, it's not difficult if you follow the steps in this post.

The issue I see often with saved PLC programs is they do not include all the necessary files to create a running copy of the PLC. If the PLC dies and you are responsible for getting it back up and running, you must have all the necessary files saved somewhere.

PLCs that have only ladder logic and no timers and zero data words still have a few settings that are not usually uploaded and saved. Bad, bad, bad. These unbacked settings can take hours to figure out how to adjust them to get back up and running.

Some PLC systems have levels of complexity such as networking counter cards, analog cards or any type of specialty cards. These cards each have their own settings. Most have a separate file that must be backed up with its own program that you launch from within CX-One.

Omron CJ1 PLC

Omron CJ1 PLC can be backed up without a laptop by using a Compact Flash memory card.

The typical centrifuge control panel we build requires CX Programmer, CX integrator, Network configurator and CX designer for the touchscreen. The Programmer has a memory editor/monitor tool built into it that allows you to save every area of memory in the PLC. Good, good, good.

You obviously have to use all these programs to create a new project or to troubleshoot one. But if you simply want to clone a PLC to get back up and running; or if you want to make a copy of a previous job (which could take days with a laptop), this can be done in minutes with a CF memory card.


How to Create a Clone of Omron PLC Program

The easiest way to create a working clone of a PLC does not require a laptop. But it does require planning.

Omron CJs have a CF memory card slot on the CPU unit. Use 64 MB up to 512 MB compact flash card. 128 MB cards are still available from Omron—DO NOT FORMAT THE CARD

  • First open the cover directly above the memory card slot and turn on dip switch No. 2
  • Make sure the power is on.
  • Next put in the CF card into its slot.
  • The card with be accessed by the PLC and a “busy” light will start blinking.
  • Wait for this to go out, then push and hold the button immediately above the CF card slot for 3-5 seconds.
  • You will see the same light start blinking, let go of the button, depending on your program size it will take a few seconds to maybe 30 seconds.
  • After the light stops blinking you can remove the card and store it in a safe place.
  • The Touchscreen program can also backup to the same flash card using a utility built into the setup screens called memory card transfer utility.

To restore or clone an Omron PLC

  • Turn on dip switch No. 2 with the power OFF.
  • Insert the CF card in the PLC and turn ON the power.
  • The PLC will automatically read to CF card at Boot up and load it into all the places it took hours to load with a laptop.
  • I watch the red LED display for my IP address that is used in our projects. When I see the address display, I know everything was loaded and will work correctly.
  • Turn the dip switch OFF and remove the card. Make sure the busy light is not lit before removing the CF card.

We have one customer who was buying the same system from us over and again. Since we backed up all their files to a CF card, I can get a new control panel up and talking in an hour or two.

I need to use my laptop for is Yaskawa’s Drive Wizard to set up the VFDs. Otherwise it would take only minutes for the PLC programming.

SMALL-Ernie Sparks cropped


There is a ton of information on the CJ PLC at MyOmron.

Ernie Sparks is a member of the Innovative-IDM Houston branch engineering team. He also owns, by far, the largest cold drink mug in the company. He can be reached at

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E5CC/E5EC Sets New Standards In Temperature Control

Posted October 2, 2013 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Innovative Automation, Innovative-IDM, New Product Release, Omron

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Omron, E5CC-E5EC Temp. Controller

Temperature control has taken a giant leap forward with our next generation of controllers – the E5CC/E5EC, which have set new global standards in the crucial areas of precision, user friendliness and control performance. This new series feature large easy-to-read displays, fast simple set up and 50 ms sampling period time. The compact units, which project only 60 mm behind the panel, are also easy to accommodate and install, even in cramped locations.

For more information or to order your Omron E5CC/E5EC Temperature Controller contact Innovative-IDM at 877.906.2100 or email us at

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