Red Hat, announced that OMRON, a Japan-based global electrical equipment manufacturer, has chosen Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform, as the conceptual model for its virtualized control platform proof-of-concept that will help deliver greater management of industrial systems and processes. By moving to a software, containerized approach, OMRON aims to save time and reduce complexity, giving manufacturing plants more agility and flexibility to innovate.
This implementation is one of the first of its kind and will allow real-time data generated at manufacturing edge sites to be more seamlessly transmitted throughout the organization and will also allow industrial control equipment programs to be operated remotely from applications running in containers configured with Red Hat OpenShift. OMRON has started the PoC rollout of its virtualized control platform primarily for current customers with future plans to help customers convert containerized solutions into composable services for industrial Personal Computers PCs.
OMRON offers products and services in around 120 countries and regions, including control equipment for factory automation, electronic components and infrastructure systems including automated ticket gates at train stations, power conditioners for solar power generation and healthcare. OMRON’s control equipment division offers a variety of solutions focused on improving productivity at manufacturing facilities. This division has been focusing on the shift from the traditional hardware-centric model to a software-driven infrastructure to build its virtualized control platform.
The adoption of Red Hat OpenShift, which has a proven history in countless commercial Kubernetes environments and a high degree of compatibility with other solutions, will provide a strong backbone for achieving the new kind of management that Omron is striving for. Red Hat began implementation on OMRON industrial PCs in April 2022, utilizing knowledge acquired through the collaborative efforts of its global support system, and completed an installation test in September of 2022.
With increased automation and management of operations, the cloud-native virtualized control platform can be managed centrally from the cloud. This will allow the gathering, analysis and updating of all kinds of machine data, as well as the alteration of control programs in the facility, which until now has required on-site work, to be performed in the cloud. Innovations developed and tested in the cloud environment can be instantaneously deployed on-site. OMRON will be able to respond to customer needs by improving productivity and efficiency of its operations and shortening the innovation cycle.
OMRON will offer the virtualized control platforms PoC with Red Hat OpenShift to its existing customers, primarily in core industrial sectors. As a preliminary stage, OMRON will start with key industrial customers that utilize a large number of OMRON PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) and aims to expand in the future into an even broader range of industrial fields including infrastructure, transportation, healthcare business and more. With this work, OMRON hopes to see a significant increase in factory productivity in addition to enhanced flexibility and agility for new initiatives in the industrial use OT market with full scale operations and global expansion in 2025.
This initiative with OMRON delivers a solution that blends hybrid cloud and the industrial edge. Red Hat continues to evolve the Red Hat portfolio with innovations like single-node OpenShift to become nimble and adaptable to small factor devices, newly announced Red Hat Device Edge to support different use cases and workloads on small, resource-constrained devices at the farthest edge and many more.