Interlocks get networked
09 November 2015
Industrial safety specialist Fortress Interlocks is integrating AS-interface (AS-i) and PROFIsafe (PROFIbus Safety or PROFInet Safety) connectivity into its tGard and amGardpro interlocks. The company is also developing non-contact switches and output signal switching devices which can be incorporated into its tGard and amGardpro units.
Most interlocks are either not electrically connected (deliberately so in the case of some mechanical, trapped key interlocks) or are ‘wired at gate’, meaning all electrical connections go via a control PLC and safety relay. This can mean up to 20 wires from each device going to the control panel.
To overcome this scenario, Fortress has developed a number of products that utilise either AS-i industrial networking or PROFIsafe communication technology. AS-i is an industrial networking platform used in PLC, DCS and PC-based automation systems. It is designed to connect simple field I/O devices in manufacturing or process applications using a single 2-conductor cable. PROFIsafe is a safety communication technology for distributed automation.