New Allen-Bradley Compact GuardLogix safety controllers

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New Allen-Bradley Compact GuardLogix safety controllersRockwell is launching Allen-Bradley L43S and L45S Compact GuardLogix PACs (programmable automation controllers) that fill the gap between the company's ControlLogix systems and conventional safety relays. Machine builders can therefore benefit from compact, integrated systems for automation, motion, drive and safety control on medium-sized applications. As with the larger ControlLogix systems, the CompactLogix systems offer users a single programming environment and diagnostics, thereby reducing engineering costs and downtime.

Ken Deken, vice president of portfolio management at Rockwell Automation, comments: "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."

Compact Guardlogix PACs can control as many as eight axes of integrated motion over a SERCOS communication network; when used in combination with the Allen-Bradley Kinetix 6200 servo drive, machine builders benefit from advanced safety options, including safe speed and safe direction monitoring.

Inputs, outputs and safety integrity

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 systems to be configured quickly and information to be shared. Featuring a 1oo2 (one-out-of-two) safety architecture, the Compact GuardLogix controllers are rated up to Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL 3) of EN 62061 (IEC 62061) and Performance Level e (PL e) of EN ISO 13849-1.

When used with the latest version of Rockwell Software RSLogix 5000 programming software (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 used and reused, thereby helping to save time and lower the risk of coding errors. Further assistance is provided in the form of worked examples that can be used as the starting point for new projects. Manufacturers in the highly regulated life sciences, and food and beverage industries also can use the RSLogix 5000 software available with the Compact Guardlogix PACs to manage revision control, fulfil regulatory requirements, and help protect intellectual property.

Rockwell Automation claims that configuring safety functions on a Compact GuardLogix PAC is no more difficult than programming other automation functions - though the company concedes that the relevant standards call for a 'competent person' to design safety-related control systems. Nevertheless, safety control programs can be 'safety signed' and password-protected, and validation checks have been incorporated into the software. A further claim being made by Rockwell Automation is that Compact GuardLogix is the "easiest to use safety system on the market."

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