Omron is introducing what it claims to be the first I/O (input/output) modules for CompoNet – a new control network that complies with Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (ODVA) requirements. Combining simplicity with high speed and ample capacity, CompoNet will save time and reduce complexity in the development process for machine builders.
CompoNet is based on CIP (Common Industrial Protocol), an open communications standard designed for industrial applications. It has recently been included in the CIP networks family as promoted by the ODVA. The ODVA controls the specification and device certification for all CIP-based devices to ensure plug-and-play inter-operability.
Omron is one of the four founding members of the ODVA, an organisation that now boasts 300 member companies that are actively developing a wide variety of products built to these standards.
By combining proven CIP technology with experience in machine automation, Omron has developed CompoNet as an efficient network for connecting smart sensors, actuators and remote (I/O) devices. The network-independent CIP messaging gives users access to intelligent field devices from anywhere in their control system without having to write a single line of communication code in a controller. For machine builders, development time will be shortened, wiring is reduced and troubleshooting and maintenance are simplified.
Fast and efficient, CompoNet can support an I/O capacity of up to 384 slaves with a guaranteed cycle time of less than 1 millisecond for 1000 digital I/O points, as well as provide acyclic message transfer to configure and monitor more complex field devices.
Omron's initial product range for CompoNet comprises master units for CJ1 and CS1-series programmable logic controllers (PLCs), remote I/O modules with ingress protection classes IP20 and IP54, plus a full range of cables, connectors, repeaters and software tools. The innovative IP54 I/O units provide are simple and cost-efficient for use as field-mounted I/O in damp or dusty environments by using standard I/O connection technology protected by a tough housing.
The CompoNet system includes flat cable and isolation-displacement connectors for both IP20 and IP54 application areas. With power and communication combined in a single cable, installation is said to be fast and faultless. Branch connectors enable devices to be easily added or removed for maintenance and troubleshooting. As an alternative to the flat cable, simple twisted-pair cabling can be used, with each node powered individually.
Repeater units extend the range of CompoNet to up to 1500m and can link sections of different cable types, allowing for mixed topology networks. Up to 63 repeaters are allowed in one network. The freedom to branch the CompoNet cable to wherever it is needed can provide significant reductions in I/O wiring. Using repeaters, and 'bit slaves' with IP20 or IP54 protection rating, small numbers of I/O points are easily spread over large areas, such as in warehouses or on conveyor systems
Setting up a CompoNet network is claimed to take just seconds. Simply select the master unit communication mode and speed on the front panel and the unit automatically scans the network after power-on. Using Omron's free software tool, users can access all CompoNet devices via any connection path to the PLC for troubleshooting and maintenance work, helping to identify wiring faults, power failures or machine malfunctions. All Omron CompoNet slaves contain 'smart' early-warning functions that continuously monitor status and performance, and allow each part of a machine or system to be easily diagnosed.
Paul Downey, marketing manager at Omron Industrial Automation, comments: "CompoNet will break new ground for machine builders, as it will decrease complexity and development time compared to conventional networks. It allows more flexibility to build it into their designs, as well as achieving instant troubleshooting and diagnostics. We are very pleased to be demonstrating CIP and CompoNet's capabilities."