Drives and Controls Magazine
Motor controls with built-in safety can mount on machines
Published:  17 October, 2019

Rockwell Automation has announced a range of distributed motor controllers with built-in safety functions that can be mounted directly onto machines, allowing functional safety to be implemented with fewer components and saving cabinet space.

The Allen-Bradley ArmorStart ST is the first networked, safety-enabled on-machine system that integrates with Rockwell’s Allen-Bradley Logix controllers and is programmed using its Studio 5000 software. Rockwell says that using the same EtherNet/IP network and a single software tool will help to streamline applications.

The controllers are safety-rated up to PL e / SIL 3 and Cat 4. The STO (safe torque-off) function is built in allowing rotational power to be removed from a motor, but not its drive. This can enhance safe and improve uptime by allowing faster start-ups after safety incidents. It can also reduce wear caused by repeated start-ups.

Rockwell Automation’s ArmorStart ST starters are the first networked, safety-enabled on-machine systems that integrate with Logix controllers

The new motor controls offer automatic device configuration, helping to maximise uptime and reduce mean-time-to-repair. They avoid the need for an extra enclosure near motors or machines, leading to shorter cable runs. And when combined with other machine-mounted products, they can cut design, commissioning and installation costs compared to traditional designs.