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Safety controller is `a great leap forward`

01 January, 2006

Safety controller is `a great leap forward`

Rockwell Automation has launched a safety controller based on the same Logix control engine as is used in many of its other products. This means that the two-processor, SIL3 GuardLogix controller can use the same networking, I/O and software as the other products, saving time and costs, according to Rockwell.

"As the first safety control solution for integrated architecture, GuardLogix is a leap forward for machine safety," declares Kevin Colloton, the GuardLogix product manager. "An immediate apparent benefit is ease of programming. Although safety control has specific and unique requirements compared to standard control, users can now program and manage their safety control system using familiar standard control methods."

The GuardLogix was one of several safety products unveiled at Rockwell`s Automation Fair in the US late last year. Other items included:

a pair of servo drives with a safe torque-off capability that disables the drive output, allowing machines to be set up, cleaned and maintained without removing power entirely;

a DeviceNet safety scanner that allows Rockwell`s GuardPLC controllers to send and receive information from up to 63 standard and safety devices on a DeviceNet network;

a modular safety relay that can handle up to 20 inputs from safety devices and up to three group outputs, and perform simple function block logic via rotary switch settings; and

a safety laser scanner for vertical and horizontal guarding duties with a configurable safety field covering a 190-degree arc and a 5m radius, and a warning field with a radius up to 49m.

Rockwell has also added Ethernet/IP networking capabilities to its GuardPLC safety controllers, allowing OEMs and end-users to share safety-related information between standard and safety controls.

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