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.

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

Omron H5CX-N Digital Standard Timer

Posted September 16, 2013 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Innovative Automation, Innovative-IDM, Omron

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Omron H5CX-N, digital timer

The most complete digital standard timer on the market.  H5CX offers you the most complete series of products on the market today. Based on extensive customer research, these new timers have been designed with added-value features that users both need and appreciate.  H 48 x W 48 x D 59 to 78mm Three-colour display value, red, green or orange  Models with Instantaneous Contact Outputs 0.001 s to 9999 h, 10 ranges Input NPN, PNP and contact.

For more information or to order your Omron H5CX-N contact Innovative-IDM at 877.906.2100 or send us an email at

Read More

Hydraulic Presses Improved With PLC and HMI

Posted December 22, 2011 by Pepper Hastings

Categories: Omron

Tags: , ,

by Rami Hassouneh, Innovative-IDM Application Engineer


A plastics manufacturer suffering from poor productivity, inefficiency and a large number of operator errors acquires an automated solution to alleviate the problem. Using a simple setup with an Omron PLC and Omron HMI, the manufacturer reduces wasted time and material and utilizes his hydraulic presses to their full potential.

The Challenge:

The process in question was a fully manual process. It consisted of an operator filling a mold with resin, setting the pressure, and activating the hydraulic press. The operator would wait for a given time as indicated in the “recipe”, then increase the pressure setting. The operator, again, would wait for a given time, and then disengage the hydraulic press. The mold is flipped over and the process repeated. The total time of production for one part could run from 30 minutes to 300 minutes depending on the resin composition and size of the finished product.

This type of process, while simple in nature, is actually inherently prone to productivity issues. The process relies completely on the operator to accurately set and control variables such as pressure and pressing time. Human error, and unfortunately a lack of care by the operator, was resulting in these variables being inaccurate and ultimately many parts were rendered useless. On a typical day the manufacturer had 10 presses running, and was losing 2 parts a day due to operator error, at an average of $175 per part.

The Solution:

Our solution was to automate the process by installing an Omron CP1H PLC and an Omron NS series Industrial Touch Screen HMI on each press. The operator from then on would only need to select the “recipe” from a user friendly menu on the HMI, and press start. The PLC from them on would control the process by starting the hydraulic press, setting the pressure required, and time to hold. It would alert the operator when the process was completed either to flip the part over, or to remove the product. It also would trigger an alarm if a mechanical failure had occurred in the press and the set pressure could not be achieved.

The total cost for setting up the system, allowing for programming, hardware, and installation was $130,000.


The Results:

The manufacturer eliminated the losses due to defective products coming out of the presses. While that alone would have covered the cost of the automated solution in approximately one year, and directly increased his revenue by $127,750/yr from then on, there were also added benefits that became apparent. Productivity was increased as now a visual alarm allowed the supervisor to quickly see when a press was sitting idle, and the situation corrected immediately. The solution provided also reduced the manpower required to run the ten presses from five operators to two.

Materials Used:

OMRON CP1H Series PLC with Ethernet Interface.

OMRON NS Series Industrial Touch Screen HMI, 8” with Ethernet Interface

Read More