This system has the capability to provide a "warm" shutdown, says Mike Miclot, marketing director in the company's Automation Control and Information Group. Warm shutdown can allow a robot to continue operating in three quadrants when a maintenance mechanic is detected working in the fourth, he says. The PLC handles multiple disciplines of control: discrete, motion, drive, process, position and PID loops, in addition to taking up the safety function. The GuardLogix controller achieves safety integrity level 3 safety control through a two-processor architecture that includes a safety primary and safety partner, according to the company. Safety logic, once tested and debugged through standard online editing and forcing, is locked in memory and can't be touched. Meanwhile, the controller functions as a regular controller, permitting editing and forcing of the control logic. The safety partner is configured automatically, the company says, and being part of the same system, needs no extra set-up or downloading. Visit the A-B GuardLogix website at http://rbi.ims.ca/4915-516.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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