Safety and motion in single controller
25 January 2013
The latest Programmable Automation Controller (PAC) from Rockwell Automation has been introduced to bring the benefits of scalable integrated safety and motion options to a wider range of machines Factories are under
Factories are under pressure to produce their goods faster, more efficiently and at a lower total cost. They must also operate in a safe and sustainable manner.
Rockwell believes lean and safe go hand-inhand.
Its two new controllers provide machine builders and manufacturers with integrated safety, motion, discrete and drive control capabilities in a single controller for medium size applications.
The Allen-Bradley L43S and L45S Compact GuardLogix programmable automation controllers (PACs) extend capabilities previously available only in the larger Allen-Bradley ControlLogix platform.
These include diagnostics and information capabilities that help reduce nuisance shutdowns and prolonged restarts, as well as a single programming environment for enhanced design and development productivity.
New opportunities As part of the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system, the Compact GuardLogix controllers use the same configuration, networking and visualisation environment as the company's larger-scale systems. This helps provide machine builders and end users with cost-effective integration of a machine or safety application into the plantwide control system.
"The introduction of the Compact GuardLogix PACs opens a new door for many manufacturers with medium size applications who previously did not have the means to implement an integrated architecture solution with embedded safety functionality," said Ken Deken, vice president of portfolio management.
Single control engine "The scalability of the Integrated Architecture system means manufacturers and machine builders can design their applications to include standard and safety control using a single control engine and a single development environment, regardless of the application size." The Compact GuardLogix PACs can control up to eight axes of integrated motion over the SERCOS communication network and when used in combination with the Allen- Bradley Kinetix 6200 servo drive, machine builders have access to the drives embedded safety functions which include safe speed control, safe direction and safe torque off.
The controllers also support the use of the Allen-Bradley CompactBlock Guard I/O modules and Allen-Bradley POINT Guard I/O modules on EtherNet/IP, enabling fast system configuration and improved sharing of information. Featuring a 1oo2 safety architecture, the Compact GuardLogix controllers are rated up to Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL 3) and Performance Level e (PL e) - the highest level of machine safety.
When used with the latest version of Rockwell Software RSLogix 5000 programming software (version 18), the Compact GuardLogix controllers can leverage high-integrity add-on instructions (AOIs) for faster commissioning.
AOIs encapsulate code for common routines into pre-validated modules that can be easily reused, helping to save time and lower the risk of coding errors.
Manufacturers in the highly regulated life sciences, and food and beverage industries also can use the RSLogix 5000 software available with the Compact GuardLogix PACs to manage revision control, fulfil regulatory requirements, and help protect intellectual property.
Benefits The benefits claimed for a combined stand and safety controller solutions include: Reduced risk - accommodates tasks and processes and does not require workers to 'work around' the system Reduced time and costs to design, program, install and start-up Improved efficiency - Improved operator diagnostics and opportunities for alternatives to lock-out-tag-out for routine tasks (where applicable) Reduced maintenance Reduced wiring Reduced space requirements Accommodates future process or safety changes Ken Deken continues: "Machine builders, integrators and end users are designing contemporary solutions with an eye toward improving safety, achieving higher levels of performance, and realising better integration of a machine with the rest of the manufacturing operation.
"Through our scalable control platform and advanced configuration environment, manufacturers, suppliers and integrators have more opportunity than before to achieve this goal."