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Sustainable Manufacturing
Operational Excellence

From red lights to robots: OMRON celebrates 90 years of innovation

Udgivet kl. 6. juni 2023 i AI

This year on Founder’s Day, OMRON looked back on 90 years of pushing technological boundaries, and looks forward to a future of automation innovation framed by sustainability, digitalisation and human-machine collaboration.

May the 10th be with you… 

Every year, 10th May is probably the most important day in OMRON’s calendar. On this day, 30,000 OMRON employees around the world celebrate the life and legacy of the company’s founder, Kazuma Tateishi. They do this by recommitting to Tateishi’s vision of using technology to create a better world and by giving back to society - often by participating in volunteer and charity projects in their communities. 

Innovation Milestones 

OMRON's journey of innovation began in 1933 with the development of a high-precision timer for X-ray photography. This marked the company's first contribution to addressing societal needs. In 1960, OMRON unveiled the world's first non-contact proximity switch, revolutionizing advanced mass production capabilities. Since then, OMRON has continued to introduce groundbreaking technologies, including the first automatic traffic signal, unmanned train station system, wearable blood pressure controller, ultra-high-speed fuzzy logical controller, and automatic cancer cell diagnostic equipment.

Focus on Factory automation 
OMRON's impact extends across various sectors, encompassing industrial automation, home appliances and office equipment, automobiles, social and financial systems, and healthcare. Over the past 50 years, the company has consistently accelerated industrial automation by developing essential components like relays, timers, and switches for manufacturing machines. Today, OMRON's focus on factory automation has led to advancements in sensors, controllers, robots, and other devices that propel manufacturing processes forward. Notably, OMRON has achieved several world-first innovations, such as a high-performance smart camera with multi-color light, SCARA robot with predictive maintenance functions, and robotic integrated controller.
Automation Addressing Present Challenges 
Recent historic events, including the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit, have presented unprecedented challenges for industries worldwide. In response, OMRON recognizes the pivotal role of automation in overcoming these obstacles. Through the integration of factory devices via the Internet of Things (IoT), OMRON enables manufacturers to leverage the benefits of Industry 4.0. This includes enhanced efficiency through data monitoring and analysis, as well as improved collaboration between humans and machines. By embracing AI, OMRON automates decision-making processes and optimizes production schedules, resulting in increased efficiency and reduced waste, through a combination of core automation platforms and emerging technologies like AI and 5G.

A new dawn: autonomous society 

OMRON's commitment to innovation has birthed remarkable solutions that drive data-driven operations and digitalization. AI-powered predictive maintenance solutions and collaborative robots exemplify OMRON's dedication to accelerating productivity through digital transformation, paving the way for the next generation of smart factories. Looking ahead, OMRON firmly believes that automation will continue to play a vital role in achieving sustainability, efficiency, and profitability in the industry. In a world transitioning toward an "autonomous" approach, emphasizing sustainability, individual development, and quality over quantity, harmonized automation solutions hold the key.

Through OMRON’s Shaping The Future 2030 strategy, Tateishi’s vision of using technology to create a better world will live on, as OMRON helps various industries to ease labour shortages, enhance productivity and achieve carbon neutrality.
Fernando Colás, CEO of OMRON's Industrial Automation Business Unit (IAB) in Europe, says: “Faith in the belief that social challenges spur on technological development and vice versa is the lifeblood of our business. This has never been more applicable than today, when we face a host of challenges, from climate change to an aging population and the rising cost of living. Founder’s Day provides an opportunity for us to reiterate our commitment to ensuring that our efforts in automation innovation are channelled into creating a more sustainable, prosperous and harmonious world.” 
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  • Fernando Colás

    Fernando Colás

    CEO of OMRON's Industrial Automation Business Unit (IAB) Europe