OMRON Electronics has announced the arrival of Bluetooth interfaces for their serial connections. This allows Omron PLCs and screens to connect wirelessly to either a computer or each other using the Bluetooth standard.
The Promi-SD202-OA is a commercial unit that has been customised to work especially with Omron hardware. It can be plugged directly into any Omron PLC or screen, without interfacing cables etc.
The unit also does not require an external power source, as it is powered via a dedicated line in the RS232 connector. Omron also sells the computer adapter (if required)
Class 1 v1.1 Bluetooth has been used throughout, meaning indoor devices within a 100m radius are connectable.
The Bluetooth standard was developed many years ago for Personal Area Networks (PANs) and allows devices located within close proximity to a computer to connect to it wirelessly.
It has been called a "cable replacement" technology because it seeks use of radio communications where interconnecting cables have traditionally been used.
Bluetooth allows up to seven devices (such as LAN access, Dial-Up Networks, headphone sets, synchronisation (with PDAs, etc) and now Omron hardware to simultaneously communicate.
Bluetooth has been tested around Wifi connections and can successfully co-operate without causing interference.
Wireless connections are ideal in the industrial field for connections to moving controllers, for example when mounted on a rotating platter, or whenever wiring is difficult or expensive. It is often also more convenient to connect via a hot-spot rather than cable.