Drives and Controls Magazine
Module allows safety and standard control on one network
Published:  31 October, 2018

Rockwell Automation has announced an optional module for its Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 755 and 755T AC drives that allows users to integrate safety and standard control systems on a single network using one controller. The Integrated Safety Functions Option Module offers safety functions based on IEC 61800-5-2 standards and can be used to monitor speed, direction and position on an EtherNet/IP network. Rockwell claims that it will cut hardware and installation costs, and boost productivity.

When used as part of an integrated safety system that includes a GuardLogix 5580ES controller or Compact GuardLogix 5380ES controller, the module provides safety ratings up to and including SIL CL 3 and PLe Cat 4. It can be added to a drive at any time.

A single GuardLogix controller can be configured to manage safety and standard control using the Studio 5000 Logix Designer software environment. There is no need to write and coordinate multiple programs on different controllers, thus simplifying programming and allowing manufacturers to save on training and support costs.

“With integrated safety functions, manufacturers can streamline operations while creating opportunities to reduce costs and increase productivity,” says senior Rockwell product specialist, Chunbing Zhang. “The integration of the safety and standard control systems also provides operators and maintenance personnel visibility to all machine events – including safety events. This enables a quick response that allows the machine to return to full production faster.”

Rockwell says that its optional drive safety module will cut hardware and installation costs while boosting productivity

Networked safety systems can cut hardware and installation costs by simplifying machine design and reducing equipment redundancies. With fewer components, manufacturers can use smaller panel enclosures and save floor space.

Networked safety systems also provide zone control in which one zone of a machine is brought to a safe state while other zones continue to operate. In the past, a safety event in one section of a machine could result in the entire machine shutting down, because the standard system had limited knowledge of the safety event. Integrated safety allows the control and safety systems to coexist on the same network and share data between the safety and standard applications.