OMRON Electronics has announced the release of the F3SX safety controller. This controller is an all-in-one safety control system, flexible enough to be integrated into almost any safety application.
The F3SX conforms to Safety Category 4 and to SIL 3.
Unlike a simple safety-rated relay, the F3SX controller can handle larger systems due to its increased I/O capacity. Its modular construction allows up to four sets of safety-rated inputs (such as safety light curtains, emergency stop switches and door switches) and three sets of outputs to be configured.
Outputs can be selected to be either indicator type or solid-state DC type with or without (settable) delays.
LED indicators (complete with self-diagnostic functions) convey I/O status at a glance. Expected patterns show overall system status and error location as they occur. A dedicated error LED alerts lights or flashes to inform of abnormal conditions. The safety lock out condition maintains the safety output in the off state for added protection.
The F3SX is preferable to PLC and discreet relay circuits in safety circuits as reliability is increased to the level required by category 4 safety standard. Also, miss wiring in complex safety interlock systems is reduced and resilience to operator tampering is increased. Reduced wiring means reduced wiring and installation costs.
The onboard RS232 interface allows supporting software to monitor for alarm status, provide detailed error information and other functions. Logic programming is not supported in the controller however.