I/O device certification; automation repair

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) sometimes cringe at the thought of equipment redesign because of the need to recertify with various standards bodies. And yet, updating automation and controls can save OEMs and their customers, money, time, and effort, and offer more features.

06/24/2004


Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) sometimes cringe at the thought of equipment redesign because of the need to recertify with various standards bodies. And yet, updating automation and controls can save OEMs and their customers, money, time, and effort, and offer more features. Component manufacturers that obtain certifications can reduce the time and costs associated with auditing and approval of OEM machinery. Along those lines, Rockwell Automation has received marine and ATEX certifications on the majority of its Allen-Bradley Point I/O products.

Another area where cost is a consideration for OEMs (and end-users, for that matter) is whether or not automation equipment should be repaired or replaced. PLCcenter, "celebrating 25 years of repair excellence," says that it repairs all makes and models of industrial controls and automation, with 50% savings over buying new.

Component certifications: Companies who design and build equipment used in the marine industry (including use on seagoing ships and many offshore oil/gas platforms) must be "classed" by one of the principal marine classification societies before insurance is arranged and regulatory licenses issued. Rockwell Automation has received marine and ATEX certifications on the majority of its Allen-Bradley Point I/O products . By using A-B Point I/O products certified by marine classification societies, OEMs and manufacturers can streamline the auditing and approvals process and reduce costs associated with system certification and schedule delays.

"Without appropriate marine certifications, builders must go through an extensive approval process that can take a lot of time and money to pay for certifications and audits, and schedule the inspection," said Jim Iubelt, a product manager with Rockwell Automation. "By using pre-certified I/O products, they do not have to worry about certifications on this portion of their machinery." Similarly, builders who create machines for use in Europe can save time and money by using ATEX-certified Allen-Bradley Point I/O products. ATEX certificates declare that a product, process or service meets the requirements of the European Union Directive concerning equipment used in potentially explosive environments. Most Point I/O products are now certified by ATEX. For more about certification of Rockwell products, click here .

Point I/O is a modular family of distributed I/O products that offer diagnostics, data tag structure support and scalable/configurable features, helpful to reduce engineering costs through standardization. It can be used in remote device panels and local control panels and can be accessed from many locations, including the Internet. For more about Point I/O, click here .

Product repair: PLCcenter.com says it has improved turnaround times for repair, related capabilities, quality standards, and customer service. It has no evaluation fee, offers a 12-month warranty, and information about the part can be entered online for a quote. It says it services thousands of vendors’ products, including Rockwell Automation, Cutler-Hammer, GE Fanuc, Honeywell, Schneider Electric, Omron, Siemens, Square D, Texas Instruments, and Westinghouse.

—Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief, Control Engineering, MHoske@cfemedia.com





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