Modular safety controller adapts to machine safety applications
Sick’s FX3 Flexi Soft modular safety controller is an expandable, software programmable, safety controller that is said to be adaptable to a variety of safety applications for small- to medium-sized machines.
Because of the controller’s modular hardware platform, it can be expanded module by module (12-144 inputs/outputs, saving space in the control cabinet while providing flexibility for future expansion.
Increased productivity is possible with advanced features such as: Fast Shut-Off (which is said to increases response time) and EFI (Enhanced Functional Interface), a connection to all leading network communication protocols that reduces wiring and provides better diagnostics. Supported protocols include EtherNet/IP, Profibus-DP, Profinet, CANopen, Ethernet TCP/IP, and Modbus TCP. Network gateways will also be launched in the future, Omega says.
Hardware and software configuration of the Flexi Soft system is done via the “Flexi Soft Designer,” a function block-based logic editor allowing drag and drop functionality. Up to 255 logic blocks are available. These consist of general (AND/OR/XOR/NOT) blocks and application-specific (Bypass, Muting, Press) blocks. A library of 32 certified function blocks is also available. The free Flexi Soft Designer software also offers up-to-date diagnostics, simulation mode, error history reports, specific tag names, and online monitoring.
Once a system is configured, it is saved and stored in the “system plug.” Since it is connected to the power supply, the captive Flexi Soft system plug ensures configuration memory cannot be lost, and also enables more rapid commissioning.