Rockwell Controller Simplifies Machine Safety

Monday, March 14, 2016 @ 12:03 PM gHale


With the new Allen-Bradley Compact GuardLogix 5370 controller from Rockwell Automation, users no longer need separate networks and controllers for safety and motion in applications with up to 16 axes.

The goal for the controller is to make it easier to design safety into a wide range of standard and custom machines, and results in simpler system architectures.

“The new Compact GuardLogix 5370 controller has all the performance capabilities of our popular Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 5370 controller, while also providing integrated safety and motion on a single EtherNet/IP network,” said Ming Jing Ye, global product manager, Rockwell Automation. “When safety, motion and standard control are combined into one package, configuration is easier, wiring is reduced and users get better diagnostics. Ultimately, it helps increase machine uptime and plant productivity.”

The Compact GuardLogix 5370 controller also helps users meet global safety standards. It achieves Safety Integrity Level 3, Performance Level e and Category 4 – the highest ratings for machine safety.

As with other Logix controllers, engineers can use the Rockwell Software Studio 5000 software to configure the Compact GuardLogix 5370 controller and develop all elements of their control system. Data can end up defined once, and then easily accessed and re-used across different machine types to speed system development and commissioning.

In addition, a single programming environment for both safety and standard control removes the need to manually manage separate standard and safety memory, or partition logic to isolate safety.

The Compact GuardLogix 5370 controller includes dual Ethernet ports to support linear and device-level-ring (DLR) network topologies. Built-in energy storage removes the need for batteries, and a removable 1-GB Secure Digital (SD) card improves data integrity.

Rockwell Automation also will be releasing an on-machine option later this year – the Allen-Bradley Armor Compact GuardLogix 5370 controller. This option allows users to place the controller closer to the application or onto the machine, which eases installation, commissioning and troubleshooting. The on-machine controller is IP67-rated for wash-down protection and includes quick-connect cabling to ease system wiring.