The new Flexi Soft is a powerful, modular and easily commissioned safety controller which, due to its scalability, can be efficiently adapted to the requirements of a wide variety of safety applications.
Its intuitive user software makes it child’s play to combine function blocks and logic functions.
Thanks to this modular hardware platform, the compact safety controller grows with its task module-by-module – right up to the highest safety level. The design of safe system solutions is thus considerably simplified.
Integration in fieldbus environments and the corresponding bidirectional communication between sensors, actuators, controllers and the ultimate control level makes Flexi Soft particularly interesting for small to medium-sized machines.
Safe ”wiring” via drag & drop
The safety controller consists of a CPU that is expanded by plugging in I/O modules and gateways. Configuration takes place via a particularly intuitive user interface.
The necessary sensors and actuators can easily be ”wired” to the previously selected Flexi Soft module using drag & drop, and then parameterised.
The next step involves configuration of the safety application via the Logic Editor, which offers a large number of different logic and function blocks with which even highly complex linkages can be created and transparently displayed.
The complete configuration is stored on a separate memory plug that is connected to the safety controller like a plug-in block terminal.
As the power is also supplied via this plug, any device replacement required can be achieved without wiring effort – ensuring maximum possible system availability.
Up to 144 I/Os possible
The Flexi Soft CPU, optionally also available with two integrated EFI interfaces, is designed for the connection of 12 Flexi Soft modules, so that the system limit is defined as 96 inputs and 48 outputs.
Multi-channel input and I/O mixed modules, relay modules and fieldbus modules (for integration in the standard controller) are available.
When using intelligent safety sensors from SICK (such as S300 or S3000 safety laser scanners, or the C4000 safety light curtain) users can select the safety controller with EFI (Enhanced Function Interface).
In this case, the electro-sensitive protective devices communicate directly with the controller – only an I/O module, to which the various actuators such as drives, magnetic valves, final controlling elements or signal indicators can be connected, is required to output switching signals.
Expansion modules open for wide variety of safety sensors
On the input side, the expansion modules permit the integration of numerous different safety sensors. These include almost the entire sensor portfolio from SICK – i.e. safety switches and safety locking devices, safety position and hinge switches, non-contact safety switches and safety operating devices, as well as almost all electro-sensitive protective devices such as laser scanners, camera systems, light curtains, as well as single-beam and multiple-beam safety devices.
It is also possible to integrated safety sensors from other producers, e.g. pressure mats or two-hand controls.
Ethernet communication allows comprehensive diagnosis
Depending on the task, the Flexi Soft can be operated with or without bus integration. In the former case, all modules are equipped with a bidirectional communication interface.
This possibility of data transmission offers a wide variety of supplementary benefits, including comprehensive diagnosis of all control and sensor functions, and display of the process.
In addition to the typical process and diagnostic data that the Flexi Soft system provides to a higher-ranking controller via the appropriate fieldbus connection, commands from a controller can also be processed in the Flexi Soft Logic Editor.