Technologies Inside: Machine builder safety system
Machine builder Automatic Handling International decided several years ago to switch from its previous automation supplier to Rockwell Automation. The reasons cited were that Rockwell Automation offered reliable training services and support, as well as a network of local specialists and distributors available for end users around the world. Also, major end users were requesting Rockwell Automation control platforms, and wanted the company’s expertise with safety regulations and risk assessments.
Automatic Handling engineers collaborated with Rockwell Automation on the initial machine design and implementation of the safety-control system. The group determined an Allen-Bradley GuardLogix integrated safety system from Rockwell Automation (which allows for safety and standard control on one platform) would alleviate complicated hardwiring and reduce engineering time.
As part of the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture, the GuardLogix programmable automation controllers use the same configuration, networking, and visualization environment as the rest of the system. This integration provides end users with fewer spare parts to maintain, while the control platform’s openness helps ensure easy integration with third-party components in a plant. In addition, Allen-Bradley Point Guard I/O modules communicate with the GuardLogix controllers using the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) safety protocol over EtherNet/IP (managed by ODVA), streamlining control and information flow.
Unlike hardwired systems, the integration of safety and standard control systems provides operators and maintenance personnel with visibility to all machine events—including safety events—via an Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus human-machine interface. The knowledge and insight provided by the integrated system allows plant personnel to respond quickly and return the machine to full production.
Automatic Handling also updated its motor control solution for the new core cleaning and joining system to Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 755 ac drives with a safe-off function. Allen-Bradley Kinetix 6000 and 6500 servo drives precisely manage all the machines’ motion axes. Kinetix 6500 servo drives reside on the same EtherNet/IP network as the PowerFlex 755 ac drives, providing simplified machine design. In addition, engineers can configure, program, and control the Kinetix 6500 and PowerFlex 755 drives using the same embedded instruction sets for standardized operation and consistent drive behavior.
“We’re able to go from the proposal phase to having complete drawings of a machine in half the time because we standardized on Rockwell Automation hardware,” according to Dave Pienta, vice president and director of sales and marketing, Automatic Handling.
The GuardLogix system reduced wiring efforts by 75% and makes changes during factory acceptance testing take hours rather than days or weeks. End users are familiar with the control platform, easing troubleshooting and maintenance.
– Tim Roback is manager of marketing for safety systems, Architecture & Software Group, Rockwell Automation. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering and Plant Engineering, firstname.lastname@example.org.