Rockwell’s Latest Safety Laser Scanner Allows Engineers to Control and Access Critical Data
Allen-Bradley is adding CIP (Common Industrial Protocol) to their line of safe laser area scanners.
CIP Safety for Allen-Bradley Area Scanner
Rockwell Automation has been adding CIP to its safety components for many years now. The safety area laser scanner is the latest component to receive this upgrade.
A safety laser scanner is a compact device that uses a laser to detect objects within a configurable zone. This style of object detection allows machine designers to create safety zones without visual obstructions.
Video used courtesy of Rockwell Automation
The configured safety zone can signal robots to slow down to a safe speed or stop, prevent other automation components from moving, and protect personal. Depending on the application or process, using an area scanner can be a great way to design an open concept machine where light curtains are not feasible.
CIP Safety Over Ethernet IP
Safety systems are becoming more complex. The traditional method involves using hard-wired signals to expensive hard-wired input modules. However, this method is labor-intensive and may cause mistakes.
Safety signals are notoriously hard to troubleshoot, but with CIP, safety signals are available over Ethernet, making setup quicker and easier. This decreases the amount of time to install the component and the data that can be made available.
Typically, there is a safe signal and a monitor signal for each safe component. With a CIP safe, device diagnostic and setup information can also be transmitted over ethernet as well.
Rockwell’s Field Set Configurator Software
Most advanced safety devices require some level of programming or configuring before the device can be commissioned in the field. The Allen-Bradley laser area scanner uses Rockwell’s Field Set Configurator software to configure safe and nonsafe zones along with the IP address and any diagnostic information of the device.
The latest safety components from Allen-Bradley. Image used courtesy of Rockwell Automation
The Field Set Configurator is launched through the Studio 5000 platform in the device properties after the device is added to the project. The software aims to be user-friendly and graphic-based.
Once the application and orientation of the scanner are selected, users can start laying out the different zones. After all the zones are set up, the user can then build the CIP safe ethernet map. This allows the integrator to customize the safe and monitor signals that will be made available to the safety program in the PLC.
Area scanners are becoming more popular due to the drive for innovation in machine design from machine builders and their customers. Using an area scanner instead of a light curtain and hard guarding can open the footprint of a machine by not using visual obstructions to protect personal.
The robotics industry uses automated guided vehicles (AGVs) for their wide range of detection in a single compact device. AGVs are used in various industries, from automotive manufacturing to warehouse operations and even to nuclear power plants. The ability to configure an endless shape of zones and configure those zones to stop or warn personal is very appealing to any industry that benefits from automation.
Rockwell's latest laser scanner aims to promote safety in industrial environments and allow engineers to access critical data.