EC: Allen-Bradley Compact GuardLogix PAC from Rockwell Automation
Safety controller: Allen-Bradley Compact GuardLogix PAC from Rockwell Automation. The Allen-Bradley L43S and L45S Compact GuardLogix programmable automation controllers (PACs) provide machine builders and manufacturers with integrated safety, motion, discrete and drive control capabilities in a single controller for midrange applications. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Award winner.
The Allen-Bradley L43S and L45S Compact GuardLogix PACs extend capabilities previously available only in the larger Allen-Bradley ControlLogix platform. These include diagnostics and information capabilities that help reduce nuisance shutdowns and prolonged restarts, as well as a single programming environment for enhanced design and development productivity. The Compact GuardLogix controllers build on the company's recognized leadership in integrating standard and safety control into a single platform. As part of the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system, these controllers use the same configuration, networking, and visualization environment as the company's larger-scale systems. This helps provide machine builders and end users with cost-effective integration of a machine or safety application into the plantwide control system.
The introduction of the Compact GuardLogix PACs opens a new door for many manufacturers with midrange applications who previously did not have the means to implement an integrated architecture. The scalability of the Integrated Architecture system means that manufacturers and machine builders can design their applications using a single control engine and a single development environment, regardless of the application size. The Compact GuardLogix PACs can control as many as eight axes of integrated motion over the SERCOS communication network. When used in combination with the Allen-Bradley Kinetix 6200 servo drive, machine builders have advanced safety options, including safe speed and safe direction. The controllers also support the use of the Allen-Bradley CompactBlock Guard I/O modules and Allen Bradley POINT Guard I/O modules on EtherNet/IP, enabling fast system configuration and improved sharing of information. Featuring a 1oo2 safety architecture, the Compact GuardLogix controllers are rated up to Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL 3) and Performance Level e (PL e), the highest level of machine safety. When used with the latest version of Rockwell Software RSLogix 5000 programming software (v18), these controllers can leverage high-integrity add-on instructions (AOIs) for faster commissioning.
For more, see www.controleng.com/awards.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.