Omron partners Red Hat for industrial operational technology edge solutions

Omron partners Red Hat for industrial operational technology edge solutions
Image Credit: Omron

Builds virtualised control platform.

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Japan-based global electrical equipment manufacturer Omron has partnered with open-source solutions provider Red Hat for help in delivering management solutions for industrial systems and processes.

The manufacturer has chosen the enterprise Kubernetes platform Red Hat OpenShift as the conceptual model for its virtualised control platform proof-of-concept (PoC). 

Omron is piloting the PoC for customers to convert containerised solutions into composable services for industrial Personal Computers PCs (IPCs). By moving to a software, containerised approach, the company said it aims to save time and reduce complexity. 

Omron’s manager Controller of PM group, Industrial Automation Company, Toshiki Natsui, said the company was able to expand business offerings by partnering with Red Hat. 

“We could deploy applications at the edge with enhanced productivity at manufacturing facilities,” he added. 

Omron offers products and services in around 120 countries and regions, including control equipment for factory automation, electronic components and infrastructure systems.

Its control equipment division offers a variety of solutions focused on improving productivity at manufacturing facilities by shifting from the traditional hardware-centric model to a software-driven infrastructure to build its virtualised control platform.

The  Red Hat implementation has allowed Omron to transmit real-time data generated at the manufacturing edge across the organisation. It also lets industrial control equipment programs be operated remotely from applications running in containers configured with OpenShift. 

With increased automation and management of operations, the firm could centrally manage the virtualised control platform from the cloud. This has enabled the gathering, analysis and updating of all kinds of machine data and the alteration of control programs in the facility which otherwise required on-site work.

The solutions developed and tested in the cloud environment can be instantaneously deployed on-site. “We will be able to respond to customer needs by improving productivity and efficiency of our operations,” he added. 

Omron is offering the virtualised control platform PoC to its existing customers, primarily in core industrial sectors. As a preliminary stage, the firm said it targets key industrial customers using a large number of Omron PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers).

It further plans to expand into a broader range of industrial fields with Red Hat Device Edge which supports different use cases and workloads on small, resource-constrained devices. 

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