Mid-sized PACs now integrate safety control

Paul Boughton
Rockwell Automation is introducing two new controllers to provide machine builders and manufacturers with integrated safety, motion, discrete and drive control capabilities in a single controller for midrange 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.
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 plant-wide control system. 
Ken Deken, vice president of portfolio management at Rockwell Automation, says: "The introduction of the Compact Guardlogix PACs opens a new door for many manufacturers with midrange applications who previously did not have the means to implement an integrated architecture. The scalability of the Integrated Architecture system means that manufacturers and machine builders can design their applications using a single control engine and a single development environment, regardless of the application size."
The Compact Guardlogix PACs can control as many as eight axes of integrated motion over the Sercos communication network. When used in combination with a Allen-Bradley Kinetix 6200 servo drive, machine builders have advanced safety options, including safe speed and safe direction. 
In addition, the controllers 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 (one out of two) safety architecture, the Compact Guardlogix controllers are rated up to Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL 3) and Performance Level e (PL e).
When used with the latest version of the Rockwell Software RSLogix 5000 programming software package (v18), 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 can also use the RSLogix 5000 software available with the Compact Guardlogix PACs to manage revision control, fulfil regulatory requirements, and help protect intellectual property.
Deken adds: "OEMs 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 and OEMs have more opportunity than before to achieve this goal."
For more information, visit www.rockwellautomation.com/solutions/safety

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