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Dual-role industrial controller simplifies machine safety

11 March, 2016

Rockwell Automation has announced a machine controller that combines safety and motion functions on a single EtherNet/IP network. It says that the Allen-Bradley Compact GuardLogix 5370 controller will make it easier to design safety into machines with up to 16 axes, and will result 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,” explains global product manager, Ming Jing Ye. “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 new controller achieves SIL 3, Pl e and Cat 4 and, when used with an Allen-Bradley Kinetix 5500 servodrive or PowerFlex 527 AC drive, delivers safe torque-off (STO) via EtherNet/IP.

The controller is configured using Rockwell Software’s Studio 5000 software. The single programming environment for both safety and standard control removes the need to manage separate standard and safety memory, or to partition logic to isolate safety. Data can be defined once, and then re-used across different machine types to speed system development and commissioning.

Rockwell's new controller combines safety and motion on one network

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

Later this year, Rockwell plans to release an IP67-protected on-machine version – the Allen-Bradley Armor Compact GuardLogix 5370 controller – that will allow users to place the controller closer to the application or onto the machine, easing installation, commissioning and troubleshooting. The washdown-protected controller will use quick-connect cabling to simplify wiring.




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