Omron NJ series

Maybe a little off topic from Ignition, but a few questions for those that have time…

  1. We are looking at an alternative to AB/RA PLCs. We are looking at Omron NJ and other series. Does anyone have a good deal of experience with NJ series and can explain how it compares to CLX/Studio 5000? Any support for AOIs? Online edits? Pros vs Cons?
  2. How does NJ, for example, play with Ignition? I see there is an Omron driver. Any gotchas?

I’ll let others answer question 1, but we have an Omron NJ driver and if you are using a newer NJ firmware version they also have an OPC UA server embedded and you don’t even need the driver.

Opto 22’s groov EPIC is amazing.

Also, have a look a Beckhoff. TwinCAT programming environment is a free download, IEC61131 compliant and built on Visual Studio framework. And… Beckhoff uses EtherCAT which is blindingly fast, in fact fast enough to close position loops via the fieldbus if you’re that way inclined.

Comms to Ignition via OPCUA is solid (needs the OPCUA lib from Beckhoff - but well priced). You can also run Ignition or Ignition Edge right on the same hardware.

Not all NJs. I think just the NJ501 series have OPC-UA embedded. I have an NJ101 and don’t have that option. Maybe they added it but I haven’t downloaded an updated Sysmac Studio in a few months.

How do Opto & Beckoff perform on large projects, compared to CLX/CpLX?

Beckhoff will scale past the RA solutions and provide faster / simpler / more cost effective I/O - hands down. Give you an idea - here is a link to a project Beckhoff did at Changi airport - Singapore in 2012. A little over 1200 motion axis all on EtherCAT.

Opto’s power in my opinion is hard to go past for it’s native support for Sparkplug and OPCUA. As an IIoT ready controller, there is massive scale at your finger tips.

Horses for courses.

I have had some issues with applications where the main task of the NJ controller need to run at a cycle time < 5ms. The number of tags that can be “subscribed” are extremely low. Max 100 tags at 2 ms cycle-task. This might be better if the person programming has a habbit of using three letter variable names in the PLC :slight_smile: Have been using the NJ Driver in Ignition to be able to read more “advanced” structs (more than 3 levels).

Another thing to be aware of if you want to use the built-in OPC UA server

  • Max 5 clients can connect to the same PLC.
  • 2000 Tags/Items can be used, with a limit of 10 000 variables.
  • Limited to 3 Struct levels
  • No Unions
  • 2 / 3-dimensional arrays not supported
  • Arrays need to start at [0]
  • Max 1024 bytes pr variable
  • Max 100 struct members pr variable

Thanks for the info. I ended up dumping Omron. Way too many shortfalls compared to Studio 5000. Rockwell stuff is high price, but in the end the time we save is worth it.