Rockwell Automation have enhanced their POINT I/O line-up with the addition of the new Allen-Bradley POINT Guard I/O modules. This modular, 24V DC I/O system is designed to fit into the standard POINT I/O system, offering both automation and safety functionality in a maximum density I/O solution. POINT Guard I/O employs common industrial protocol (CIP) safety communications functionality, enabling simultaneous transmission of safety, control and diagnostic data using EtherNet/IP and DeviceNet protocols over one CIP network.
According to Gary Milburn, Safety Area Manager, Rockwell Automation, POINT Guard I/O offers unprecedented levels of functionality and flexibility, and is suitable to safety applications up to SIL3 and Cat4. Packaging safety functionality into the POINT I/O system provides a suitable solution for applications requiring both safety and automation control and where minimum panel space is available. The advanced solid-state design allows modules to be replaced in minutes and reduces the need for special maintenance or training.
POINT Guard I/O is DIN rail mountable and features eight inputs, eight solid-state outputs, rated at 1A each, and four test pulse sources. It is sold separately to the adapter, enabling the user to purchase the adapter for the required network and add the number of POINT Guard I/O modules necessary to meet their application requirements. This facilitates the use of a single adapter to manage all POINT Guard I/O modules, and further empowers end-users to match the solution to their specific requirements, with less unused over-capacity.
Existing Rockwell Automation POINT I/O users are able to easily upgrade by retrofitting their system with POINT Guard I/O modules, so long as an appropriate safety controller is in place. POINT I/O and POINT Guard I/O can be controlled by a single GuardLogix controller for both safety and automation control through one node. POINT Guard I/O further permits easy configuration through RSLogix 5000, with full support of IP addressing.
Rockwell Automation is the only I/O supplier with a modular I/O platform that combines standard, safety and third-party I/O products for EtherNet/IP, enabling a single communications network to be used for safety and standard control. POINT Guard I/O also offers a new level of flexibility and choice for the integrated safety system designer, allowing the solution to more closely fit the designer’s ideal requirements. This makes POINT Guard I/O suitable for many machine safety applications including robotic cells, general guard-monitoring and distributed control applications.