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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org