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Mid-range PACs integrate safety and motion

29 March, 2010

Rockwell Automation in the US has announced two mid-range controllers that integrate safety, motion, discrete and drive control capabilities in one device. The Allen-Bradley L43S and L45S Compact GuardLogix programmable automation controllers (PACs) offer functions previously available only on the company`s 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.

The new controllers (above) use the same configuration, networking and visualisation environment as Rockwell’s larger systems. This helps machine-builders and end-users to integrate machine or safety applications cost-effectively into plantwide control systems. 

Ken Deken, Rockwell’s vice president of portfolio management, predicts that the controllers will “open a new door for many manufacturers with mid-range 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 PACs can control up to eight axes using Sercos communications. When used with Allen-Bradley Kinetix 6200 servo drives, they offer machine-builders advanced safety options, including safe speed and safe direction. 

The controllers also support the use of Allen-Bradley CompactBlock Guard I/O modules and Point Guard I/O modules on EtherNet/IP, enabling fast system configuration and improved sharing of information. They are rated up to SIL 3 and PL e – the highest level of machine safety.

When used with the Rockwell Software’s latest RSLogix 5000 programming software, the new PACs can use high-integrity add-on instructions (AOIs) for faster commissioning. AOIs encapsulate code for common routines into pre-validated modules that can be re-used easily, helping to save time and lower the risk of coding errors. Manufacturers in regulated sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage manufacturing, can use the software to manage revision control, fulfil regulatory requirements, and help protect intellectual property.

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