Configurable Safety Controllers Play Key Role in Mid-Size Machine-Guarding & Automation Applications

 An increased emphasis on the safety of personnel and property has become a prevalent theme in all industrial plants. In an increasingly regulated environment, safety is no longer a luxury.

Safety devices and designs have typically been at one end of the complexity/cost spectrum or the other. The most basic circuits may be hardwired relays, while for large installations, a class of safety programmable logic controllers (PLCs) evolved to support a fully integrated safety and automation solution. A large percentage of systems, however, fall somewhere in the middle, requiring more automation, control and analytics than hardwired safety systems, but cannot support the expense of a programmable PLC. In addition, an OEM may have a standard PLC vendor that differs from their end-user customer’s standard and needs to be able to easily adapt the safety system to the user’s PLC. This large mid-range gap has now been filled by configurable safety controllers (CSCs) which provide far more capability than hardwired options, offer smooth integration with modern automation, and are designed for easy and intuitive configuration.

In a recent article in Manufacturing Business Technology, Darrell Halterman discusses the key role that these CSCs play in today’s industrial installations. He explains, “Configurable safety controllers have evolved to deliver required levels of protection, while avoiding the cost and complexity usually associated with providing this type of functionality. When users select CSC products from a complete portfolio of PLCs and other automation devices offered by an OT-focused supplier, they will find it faster, easier, and less expensive to deliver safety designs in more applications.”

What kind of safety systems do you currently use?