Technologies Inside: Machine builder safety system

Rockwell Automation provides machine builder Automatic Handling International with integrated safety system using Allen-Bradley GuardLogix, Point Guard I/O modules, PanelView Plus human-machine interface, PowerFlex and Kinetix drives, and its Integrated Architecture.


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,  

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

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.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.