Rockwell uses TI's digital signal controller for ergonomics, safety

Milwaukee, WI; Houston, TX—To help improve industrial workplace ergonomics and safety, Rockwell Automation is using Texas Instruments’ TMS320LF2401A digital signal controller to bring digital signal processing (DSP) to operator interface applications


Milwaukee, WI; Houston, TX— To help improve industrial workplace ergonomics and safety, Rockwell Automation reported Aug. 12 that it's using Texas Instruments ’ TMS320LF2401A digital signal controller to enable it to bring digital signal processing (DSP) to operator interface applications. Implemented initially in Rockwell's Allen-Bradley Zero-Force Touch Buttons, TI’s LF2401A is only 7 x 7 millimeters, but processes 40 million instructions per second (MIPS). This makes it useful in space-constrained applications that need TI's DSP technology and the control peripheral set and ease of use of a microcontroller (MCU).

Industrial operator interfaces increase safety by requiring users to activate pushbuttons that keep hands away from moving equipment. However, traditional pushbuttons require repetitive force to operate, and can lead to fatigue and strain related injuries. Rockwell's Zero-Force Touch Buttons use independent, embedded sensors to convert an operator's touch into an electrical output that initiates operation when hands or fingers are placed over the button. The buttons also use precise capacitive sensor timing, combined with a complex algorithm driven by LF2401A, to discriminate between a person's touch and a foreign substance, such as clothing, fluid films or splashes, that could lead to accidental equipment operation.

'We needed a processor that could handle this complex task and algorithm, as well as meet our strict size restrictions,' says Rachael Karisny, Rockwell’s senior marketing engineer. 'LF2401A was the only embedded processor that met these requirements, along with the price, service and support that we needed.'

LF2401A offers a five-channel, analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with a 500-nanosecond conversion time, which Rockwell says makes it ideal for applications requiring real-time processing, such as Rockwell's Zero-Touch Buttons. The embedded controller also offers 8K of sectored, reprogrammable flash memory, which features encrypted security to protect intellectual code property. Even in the field, designers can now reprogram their products, and know their code and intellectual property are secure. The controller also has 1K words of on-chip random access memory (RAM), as well as read-only memory (ROM) for boot-up into flash memory. Additional peripherals include an event manager, a serial communications interface (SCI), a watchdog timer and 13 general-purpose input/output (GPIO) channels.

'Embedded control designers now have an ultra small die equipped with the peripheral integration and ease of use of a microcontroller and the real-time processing performance of a DSP,' says Todd Solak, TI’s C2000 worldwide marketing manager. 'LF2401A is code compatible with the full line of C2000 controllers, which provide the broadest range of embedded control optimized solutions available.'

There are 17 digital signal controllers in the C2000 platform, which TI reports are designed for virtually all control applications. TI gives designers application-focused hardware and software tools designed to speed time to market, and a full array of complementary analog solutions designed to work with all C2000 controllers.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Robotic safety, collaboration, standards; DCS migration tips; IT/OT convergence; 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey
Integrated mobility; Artificial intelligence; Predictive motion control; Sensors and control system inputs; Asset Management; Cybersecurity
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me