Manufacturers that want to reduce their installed costs while improving the productivity of their employees by incorporating flexible and programmable safety systems into their machine design have a new, cost-effective option from Rockwell Automation. The Allen Bradley SmartGuard 600 safety controller, measuring a compact 4 inches by 3.5 inches by 5 inches, is designed for those applications that have traditionally fallen between safety relays and safety PLCs.
This new safety controller helps reduce the wiring and installation costs commonly associated with relay-based systems, and tightly interlocks with programmable controllers to help manufacturers integrate their standard and safety systems for increased productivity.
"Many companies today have two choices. They can use either safety relays, where inter-wiring can quickly become very complex even for basic safety logic, or they can implement a full-blown safety PLC system that can be expensive and time-consuming to program," says Jeff Gellendin, safety product manager, Rockwell Automation. "The SmartGuard 600 bridges the gap between these systems by providing a solution that is not only simple to install and easy to program like safety relays, but has been engineered to perform complex safety functions and seamlessly link to other intelligent devices on the plant floor - characteristics more frequently found in Safety PLCs."
The SmartGuard 600 safety controller integrates sixteen safety-rated inputs, eight safety-rated outputs, four pulse test sources, a USB port for configuration, and a DeviceNet port that supports both standard and CIP Safety communication into a single and highly compact package. The built-in DeviceNet port allows users to expand the number of safety inputs and outputs by controlling up to 32 Allen-Bradley Guard I/O safety modules, the same safety distributed I/O used in GuardLogix systems. The built-in DeviceNet can be simultaneously used to communicate the status of the safety system to standard PLCs and HMIs. RSNetWorx for DeviceNet is used to configure the DeviceNet network and to program the SmartGuard controller, a time-saving step that also saves money by eliminating the need for separate programming software.
Cost is further reduced by incorporating a USB port that is used for programming the SmartGuard 600 controller and for configuring devices on the DeviceNet network, such as Guard I/O modules. This eliminates the need for additional interface cards, thereby simplifying maintenance and further reducing system costs.
Additionally, the SmartGuard 600 controller is capable of performing safety interlocking with other SmartGuard controllers or with the Allen-Bradley GuardLogix and GuardPLC programmable controllers. This enables users to easily distribute safety control around the plant floor, such as closing high-speed safety loops that may otherwise be too fast for a single safety controller to do on its own.
The SmartGuard safety controller is available now.