Spotlight on… OMRON: How to Program OMRON Robots Easily

In the world of industrial automation, OMRON has long been a pioneering presence in robotics. Specializing in the “nervous system” of robots, the company offers a range of automation technologies.

With its rich history in automation innovation, OMRON’s presence is particularly strong in China and its home country of Japan. Although the company also has operations in other fields, industrial automation made up a substantial 57% of its revenue in 2022.

In this spotlight, we’ll look at how you can program OMRON robots more easily for your chosen application.

The OMRON Story: What Sets OMRON Robots Apart

OMRON’s story in robotics began in 1933 when its founder, Kazuma Tateisi, formed the Tateisi Electric Manufacturing Co. Kyoto, Japan.

He located the new company in the Omuro district of the city, renowned for its strong heritage in crafts and innovation. This environment greatly influenced the company’s ethos and values of creativity and a desire to use technology to create a better society.

In 1984, the company introduced its first robotic product, the AdeptOne SCARA robot (OMRON acquired Adept Technologies in October 2015).

As its technology continued to advance, OMRON became well known as a specialist for what could be called the “brain” or “nervous systems” for robots and factory automation. This encompasses products like logic controllers, human-machine interfaces, safety systems, and machine vision.

What Industries are OMRON Robots Used In?

You can find OMRON robots in many industries including food and beverage, automotive, life sciences, and semiconductor manufacturing.

The types of applications within these industries range widely. OMRON products can also be used in many parts of an industrial automation setup, from control and motion to vision and safety.

As well as industrial and collaborative manipulators, OMRON has also become a strong presence in providing mobile robot solutions for industries.

3 Example Applications for OMRON Robots

Whatever your chosen application, it’s likely that an OMRON product — or combination of products — can apply to your situation.

Here are 3 example applications from different industries where OMRON robots are already used:

1. Healthcare Logistics

Mobile robots are a core part of OMRON’s robotic catalog. At a hospital in Finland, such robots are used to transport small waste items within the hospital corridors.

This application is part of an evaluation project to assess robots for healthcare logistics. The aim is to reduce the manual workload on staff and leave them more time to focus on their clinical duties.

2. Manufacturing Optimization

OMRON also applies its robotic products to improve its own manufacturing efficiency.

In an OMRON factory in Shanghai, China, the company has applied its collaborative robots to work alongside human operators.

The project led to a significant increase n production efficiency and achieved a return on investment in just 12 to 14 months.

3. Enhanced Screw Fastening in Production Facilities

Another collaborative robot project involved using OMRON robots for screw fastening in a flexible manufacturing environment.

The application helped to reduce a very common problem in production lines — that repetitive tasks done manually by operators suffer from quality variation over time.

Options for Programming OMRON Robots

Whatever your application, you will need to program your OMRON robot. For this, it is important to find the right programming method that will make your life easier.

Here are the 3 main options for programming an OMRON robot:

  1. Brand Programming Language: V+ Formerly Adept Technolgy, OMRON industrial robots, such as the Adept i4L SCARA robot, use the V+ or eV+ industrial PLC programming languages.
  2. TMscript — The company’s line of TM collaborative arm robots, made in collaboration with Techman robots, which are partially-owned by OMRON, use TMScript, a scripting language, or a visual flowchart programming method.
  3. Teach Pendant — The robot teach pendant (such as the T20 for industrial robots) is a common method for online programming OMRON robots. It supports straightforward input commands and real-time feedback.
  4. RoboDK — If you want an intuitive, powerful, and flexible graphical programming approach, RoboDK is the way to go. It supports a range of OMRON robots and offline programming file formats, including TMscript (ZIP files) and V+ (vb1 files).

Your choice of programming method may also depend on which ancillary OMRON products you are using.

Spotlight on 3 Models in the RoboDK Library

The RoboDK Library is an extensive collection of pre-configured robot models for use with RoboDK.

It includes various types OMRON robots, including 6 DoF manipulators, Delta, Scara, and Autonomous Guided Vehicles.

Here are 3 models you can find in the library:

Robot 1: TM5-900

The TM5-900 is a 6 Degree of Freedom collaborative manipulator with 4 kg payload and 900 mm reach. It weighs approximately 22.6 kg and has a repeatability of 0.05 mm.

The TM5-900 has an integrated vision sensor that gives it the ability to “see” for tasks like automated inspection.

Robot 2: i4-350L

The i4-350L is a 4-axis Scara robot with 5 kg payload and 350 mm reach. It weighs approximately 15 kg and has a repeatability of 0.01 mm.

A useful feature of the i4-350L is its multi-colored LED light system which combines with a predictive maintenance system to help with diagnosing potential problems faster.

Robot 3: LD-250

As well as manipulators, RoboDK also supports Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs).

One such robot is the OMRON LD-250. This is a 4-axis mechanism that features a 250 kg payload capacity. Its industrial grade structure is optimized for bulky items like transmission blocks, automotive seats, and large packaging.

A useful feature of the LD-250 is its self-navigation mode that allows it to dynamically move material in challenging environments that change. Unlike other AGVs it doesn’t require changes to the environment like floor magnets or navigational beacons.

How to Program OMRON Robots Easily with RoboDK

If you want to streamline the deployment process for your OMRON robot, it’s worth looking at using RoboDK for your programming.

RoboDK’s rich simulation environment makes it easy to quickly design robot programs and test them before you put the robot into production. The intuitive graphical interface allows you to quickly create robust programs while the API allows you to incorporate any advanced features you want.

To get started, download a trial copy of RoboDK from our download page and load up your favorite robot model.

Which OMRON products do you use? Tell us in the comments below or join the discussion on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or in the RoboDK Forum.. Also, check out our extensive video collection and subscribe to the RoboDK YouTube Channel

About Alex Owen-Hill

Alex Owen-Hill is a freelance writer and public speaker who blogs about a large range of topics, including science, presentation skills at CreateClarifyArticulate.com, storytelling and (of course) robotics. He completed a PhD in Telerobotics from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid as part of the PURESAFE project, in collaboration with CERN. As a recovering academic, he maintains a firm foot in the robotics world by blogging about industrial robotics.

View all posts by Alex Owen-Hill