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Rockwell Automation safety devices enhance safety and productivity

12 February 2021

Manufacturers can harness the power of data to substantially improve their safety compliance and performance using two new smart safety devices from Rockwell Automation.

The new Allen-Bradley SafeZone 3 laser scanner with CIP Safety over EtherNet/IP and Allen-Bradley GuardShield 450L light curtain with CIP Safety over EtherNet/IP plug-in give users access to critical data needed for a comprehensive picture of machine or production line status. Ultimately, these devices create smart machines that provide meaningful information so users can monitor machine health, increase uptime, improve flexibility and enhance safety, while lowering total cost of ownership.

These smart devices provide diagnostic information that can deliver valuable insights, such as where safety-related failures are occurring or if workers are following standard operating procedures. Users can put these insights to work to improve the productivity and sustainability of their production equipment. 

“For many manufacturers, this new way to understand safety not only helps keep people and processes safe, but also significantly expands productivity,” said Lee Lane, Vice President and General Manager, Sensing, Safety & Industrial Components Business, Rockwell Automation. “Traditional safety devices provide little or no data. Smart safety devices provide better visibility into operations and help users understand process states, environmental conditions, and other factors that affect safety and productivity.”

The new SafeZone 3 laser scanner with CIP Safety provides area detection inside a work cell. The addition of CIP Safety allows users to simultaneously operate multiple safety zones instead of switching from one to another. It also extends the scanner’s field range and provides vital diagnostic data over a single EtherNet/IP connection. 

This can improve productivity, such as by notifying workers with an alarm if they are nearing a hazard to help prevent a machine from slowing down or stopping. In addition, the CIP Safety capability expands available diagnostic data to alert users of common failures, such as the presence of dust on the scanner’s lens.

The GuardShield 450L light curtain with CIP Safety over EtherNet/IP plug-in protects personnel from injuries related to hazardous machine motion. The CIP Safety plug-in gives users more access to diagnostic data to improve productivity and flexibility. 

For example, users can see exactly which beams are tripped on the light curtain to better understand the cause of a downtime event. Or they can take a sample of the light screen every 100 milliseconds to track profiles of products running through it and identify potential quality issues.

CIP Safety is an extension to the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP), the application-layer protocol for EtherNet/IP. Smart products that use CIP Safety with technologies such as GuardLink help improve safety and productivity and simplify wiring. They also offer premier integration with an Allen-Bradley Compact GuardLogix SIL 3 control system by using the Studio 5000 Logix Designer application. 

These and other smart products, such as the 843ES safety encoder and CompactBlock Guard Safety I/O universal encoder module, are part of the Rockwell Automation safety portfolio that combines simpler connectivity and powerful data for smarter, higher-performing production. 


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