Tell us about the recent developments in the company.
We develop various programmable motion controllers, sensing and safety devices, inspection systems, industrial robots, precision laser processing equipment, and control devices for the manufacturing industry. In 2017, Omron Corporation acquired Microscan Systems, Inc. to adapt to the rapidly growing trends in machine vision and RFID and barcode readers. Microscan offers an extensive set of code readers that delivers stable reading performance even in demanding conditions, which filled the gap Omron had in its offerings.
Today, Omron holds one of the world’s most extensive patent portfolios for machine vision technology, including hardware design and software solutions. The comprehensive line of machine vision hardware comprises smart cameras and PC-based solutions that are scalable and platform-agnostic. Omron’s innovative offerings are used in industries such as automotive, electronics, life sciences, logistics, and food and beverages.
Give us insights into the key offerings of Omron and the technology architecture.
Omron offers an advanced machine vision platform, MicroHAWK, which is easy-to-use, compact, and provides the full suite of machine vision tools. MicroHAWK is a plug-and-play platform and can be operated within a minute of its connection to the client’s existing systems.
Our rich culture and the heritage of giving back to the community will go a long way in realizing a better world for everyone
The other crucial offering of the company is the FH-Series Vision System. It is a compact yet powerful solution that can perform high-performance machine vision for advanced defect detection. With top-of-the-line sensing and processing capabilities, the vision system is designed to maximize production line performance and flexibility by exceeding the capabilities of human vision. The system comprises unique and powerful image processing algorithms to process items at high speed.
Omron has carefully built its solution portfolio to combine I/O, automation, machine vision, and HMI in one software suite, Sysmac Studio, which facilitates easy programming. Sysmac Studio helps our clients to bring together logic, motion, and vision onto a single platform and be more productive.
How do you leverage Proof of Concepts to engage your prospective customers?
We have around nine proof of concept (PoC) centers in the Americas (and these are numbers are expected to grow in the coming years.) These PoC centers help our technical salespeople to engage our prospective customers as consultants. We understand their application and guide them to the right solution in our portfolio of offerings. Prospective clients can run trials using custom parameters and settings to make informed judgements in choosing the best solution. Our PoC engineers run the test and publish a report on how the tests were carried out and the final outcome of the tests. We can also record the trials on their behalf and share those videos with them along with the quote for our products that were used during the trial.
Can you share a case study where your company has helped its clients attain the desired outcomes with your offerings?
Before touching upon the case study, it is better to recall Steve Jobs’s famous quote: “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” A manufacturing firm with a fast-growing customer base had challenges in expediting the inspection of packaged food products before shipping. The firm lacked the capital to build a new manufacturing line or buy more space area to improve the throughput. For them, we demonstrated how our machine vision inspection system, MicroHAWK, could enhance the throughput by a massive margin with only a handful of workers; without having to introduce additional lines or moving into a larger building.
Elaborate on Omron’s culture and how it leads to the future?
The prime reason for me to become part of the Omron was culture. Talent, collaboration, respect, customer-centricity, care, and social responsibility are some of the highlights of this culture. We listen to our clients’ needs and deliver the solution that perfectly addresses their needs. Our collaborative culture allows us to work closely with clients. We don’t just serve but delight clients with our passion. In many ways, we treat our clients as partners.
Driven by the rich culture, we have attained several successes recently. One among them being the launch of our first collaborative robot with built-in vision (at CES 2019, the world’s biggest technology show), which has been a big hit. Our technical team refuted the previously held idea about the impossibility of combining a machine vision system with collaborative robots. Now, we have a full line of robotics with built-in machine vision.
We aim to continue to expand globally to deliver machine vision solutions that best suit clients’ needs. Our rich culture and the heritage of giving back to the community will go a long way in realizing a better world for everyone.