Right-Sizing Safety

Monday, November 5, 2018 @ 04:11 PM gHale

Machine safety systems that are built to the incorrect safety level can create big problems in production. Under-designed systems that fall short of a required safety level can put workers in danger and result in big expenses. Over-designed systems that use more safety devices than required can lead to unnecessarily complex and expensive machines.

Those three scenarios are more prevalent in the industry than anyone thinks and that is why new additions to the Rockwell Automation machine safety portfolio can help engineers right-size their safety systems while optimizing machine productivity, footprint and cost.

The newly expanded Allen-Bradley Compact GuardLogix 5380 controller family can now meet SIL 2/PLd to SIL 3/PLe safety requirements, which allows engineers to build safety systems to an application’s required safety level.

The controllers are also designed to meet the higher productivity, communications and security requirements of smart machines.

Rockwell is also introducing new safety modules for the FLEX 5000 and Compact 5000 I/O product families. The new modules deliver improved safety response times, allowing engineers to move guarding devices closer to machines to reduce machine footprints. The safety modules are TÜV certified for use in safety applications up to SIL CL 3, PLe, Cat. 4.

“Our scalable safety controllers can help machine builders avoid the excess costs and complexity of safety systems that are built to a higher level than they require,” said Brad Prosak, product manager for Rockwell Automation. “We also continue to design more safety features into products to help customers protect people, assets and the environment while improving productivity.”

The PowerFlex 755 and 755T AC drives offer a new Integrated Safety Functions Option Module, providing several safety functions based on IEC 61800-5-2 standards. The module monitors speed, direction and position, and integrates safety and standard control systems on a single EtherNet/IP network using one controller. In addition, the networked safety solution provides zone control in which one zone of the machine is brought to a safe state while other zones continue to operate.

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