EC: Allen-Bradley Guardmaster safety relays
Safety – Machine safety: The new family of Allen-Bradley Guardmaster safety relays from Rockwell Automation checks and monitors a safety system and either allows the machine to start or executes commands to stop the machine. This is a Control Engineering 2012 Engineers’ Choice award winner.
Machine builders and end users seeking to simplify safety relay selection and reduce component inventory and lifecycle costs benefit from the new family of Allen-Bradley Guardmaster safety relays. Designed to meet new global functional safety standards, such as EN ISO 13849-1, the line of safety relays includes six basic units capable of supporting a broad range of safety devices in a variety of applications, including single- and multi-zone configurations.
The relay line features a patented, single-wire communication capability that helps eliminate the need for dual-channel connection between relays. Users can expand and cascade safety functions up to a SIL 3 rating using a single wire to connect between relays, reducing installation time and effort. In addition, AND/OR logic can be set via a rotary switch on the front of the relay, yielding a variety of configurations including regional and global e-stop architectures.
A universal input feature allows devices such as safety interlock switches, emergency stop switches, and safety mats to use the same set of input terminals on the relay. This helps eliminate the need to employ a specific safety relay for a specific type of input device, helping simplify system design and reduce hardware costs.
The next-generation Guardmaster safety line also features dual input modules, providing users with twice the functionality of a standard relay in a 22.5-mm housing while reducing wiring for faster commissioning. A single TV-approved rotary switch with internal redundancy eliminates the need for double switches, helping to speed configuration while addressing multiple functions such as reset modes and time delays.
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2012 Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.