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.
More and more robots are becoming more autonomous all the time. Now Lockheed Martin has completed a demo mission with two completely autonomous robotic vehicles performing resupply, reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
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