At the 2007 SPS/IPC/Drives show Rockwell Automation unveiled the CompactBlock Guard I/O on EtherNet/IP, proclaiming it as the industry's first safety I/O module to feature EtherNet/IP connectivity. It therefore enables EtherNet/IP to be used in conjunction with a GuardLogix controller or other safety PLC that incorporates the CIP Safety protocol over EtherNet/IP.
Safety PLC systems, including Safety I/O, enable manufacturers to deploy safety applications with the flexibility of programmable controllers as opposed to the traditional approach of using hard-wired safety relays. Safety networks enable manufacturers to distribute the safety I/O, thereby reducing wiring and installation costs, while also making diagnostic information available to the standard control and HMI system.
CompactBlock Guard I/O on EtherNet/IP detects failures at the I/O and field device level in applications such as robotics, point-of-operation, guard-monitoring and remote control. It communicates over the EtherNet/IP network using the industry-standard CIP Safety protocol, making it compatible with standard Ethernet infrastructure devices, including wired and wireless products.
Manufacturing and process customers can control and monitor the equipment's safety devices with a CompactBlock Guard I/O module, using the same data network for general automation control and factory-floor business systems.
In addition to the new CompactBlock Guard I/O on EtherNet/IP, the Guard I/O family includes a full suite of products that connect to DeviceNet for in-cabinet and on-machine applications.
Dan Hornbeck, the safety business development manager at Rockwell Automation, comments: "With CompactBlock Guard I/O on EtherNet/IP, we are expanding our range of innovative safety products, and supporting the open networks that more customers are demanding. We are committed to continuing to break new ground for safety solutions in the automation industry and offer our customers the products and services they need to best protect their personnel and machinery."