Safety PLC Impact On Software vs. Hardware Debate
After working on several projects with Siemens S7-300 Safety PLCs, I was given the opportunity to contribute to an article for ControlDesign.com that presents cases for and against replacing hardware components with software solutions in machine control.
From my experience, I have seen some direct advantages of replacing hardware such as a safety relay with a safety program in a safety-rated PLC.
Some benefits of going this direction are:
- Single pair of contacts as PLC inputs rather than wiring to both input card and safety relay
- By wiring only to the PLC, you get both safety functionality and monitoring/diagnostics
- Simplifies wiring layout, saving time during commissioning and future wiring troubleshooting
- Safety logic and conditions can usually be quickly modified programmatically without physical modifications to system
- Custom variations to safety logic are possible in software that are impossible or limited with hardware alternatives
- Machine guarding or manufacturing line e-stop zoning can be done in software rather than multiple safety relays. Safety zones can also easily be dynamically modified based on machine operating status.
- Intelligent devices such as laser scanners and light curtains are usually made to integrate smoothly into the software development environment of a safety PLC.
Read the full article at ControlDesign.com:
Software Replaces Machine Hardware, but Mechanical Solutions Still Have Their Places
A ControlDesign.com article written by Mike Bacidore and featuring comments by Nick Shea from DMC.
Where Has All the Hardware Gone?: As More and More Mechanical Systems Are Replaced, Is Software the Final Frontier?
There are currently no comments, be the first to post one.