Safety controller node connects 32 sensors, independent of manufacturer
The Sick Flexi Loop safety controller node can cascade up to 32 safety switches and OSSD safety sensors onto one loop independent of the manufacturer.
The Flexi Loop, which is part of Sick’s safety controller family, uses one cable with an M12 plug to connect e-stops, sensors, switches, lamps, pushbuttons, and interlocks. The company's Flexi Soft safety controllers can support up to eight Flexi Loops, enabling a total of 256 switches. As a result, the Flexi Loop requires minimal wiring effort, which can potentially reduce costs and speed up configuration time.
This modular safety concept integrates common fieldbuses, including EtherNet/IP, CANopen, DeviceNet and Profinet IO. Diagnostic data about each of the sensors connected to the loop can be shared through these gateways, which can help troubleshoot problems and reduce machine downtime. Regardless of the number of sensors or switches, the Flexi Loop is able to maintain a performance level, as it monitors each sensor individually.
The Flexi Loop is ideal for safety applications in the packaging, commercial goods, and the electronics and solar industries, as each requires several doors, e-stops and electro-sensitive protective devices.
- Edited by Jessica DuBois-Maahs, Associate Content Manager, CFE Media, Plant Engineering, Control Engineering
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.