Omron first to integrate Artifical Intelligence in a PLC


OMRON Automation has announced a machine automation controller (PLC) equipped with a machine learning artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm. The first of its kind in the industry, the AI-equipped controller achieves real-time integration with the factory floor. The new controllers integrate knowhow of skilled workers into the controls of equipment.


This enable it to predict unusual movements of machinery based on the causal model of the built-in AI, and safely regulates them before an irregularity can occur. Integrating the knowhow has been accomplished utilising a broad range of factory automation equipment that enables IoT-capable automated production, or implements optimal AI algorithms in the equipment.


As manufacturing shifts to small batch and flexible production, there is a need to move intelligence to the shop-floor. Integration of AI allows manufacturers to contain the impact of skilled worker shortages and surging labour costs. This increases equipment utilisation and achieves stability of production quality. Analysing and utilising data allows the controller to predict possible machine errors and prevent equipment stoppage, as well as deterioration of product quality.


Developed as part of the IoT concept, the AI-equipped controller is meant to immediately detect signs of equipment irregularity. The machine automation controller’s AI algorithms allow it to learn the repeated movements of the equipment from precise sensing data, which enables feedback to status monitoring and real-time control of machines.


How the machine automation controller uses AI in production processes:


– Gathers sensing data (e.g. vibration and temperature) and output data for motors from equipment and processes it chronologically in real-time

– Generates characteristic quantities at regular or irregular times based on chronological data in real-time

– Accumulates characteristic quantity data and generates model data of learning machine after causal analysis

– Sends feedback to condition monitoring and controls based on such model data in real-time


By combining automation knowhow for manufacturing floors, using a variety of FA equipment and robot technology with state-of-the-art AI algorithms, OMRON supports manufacturing businesses that are troubled by the shortage of human resources and rise of labour costs. It accelerates a transition to the manufacturing shop floors of the future, where machines bring out human capabilities and creativity.


Go here for the Omron press release



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