Agilix Solutions | Products & Services

Rockwell Automation GuardLink® Technology Improves Machine Safety in Industrial Facilities

There’s no better time than June, National Safety Month, to introduce you to GuardLink® device level linking technology from Rockwell Automation. GuardLink is a revolutionary safety-based communication protocol designed to improve machine safety in industrial environments.

In addition to creating safer manufacturing facilities, GuardLink promises to simplify the wiring process and reduce the time and cost associated with installation. In this article, we’ll explore Rockwell Automation’s GuardLink solutions and detail how they can help your organization achieve your safety goals and beyond.

Plantwide Safety Management at the Machine Level with GuardLink® EtherNet/IP (432ES-IG3)

The GuardLink® EtherNet/IP (432ES-IG3) module is able to monitor up to three independent channels of GuardLink-enabled devices, and communicates their status to a safety-rated controller over a CIP Safety EtherNet/IP network. The 432ES-IG3 interface integrates smoothly with Allen Bradley® GuardLogix® controllers and can be configured with Studio 5000 Logix Designer® software. By selecting certified safety function blocks in Studio 5000, the controller can be configured to rapidly build your application.

Each of the three independent channels in the 432ES-IG3 has a series connection for up to 32 safety devices that can be used to monitor the status of machine-access points, meaning one interface can monitor up to 96 individual safety devices at the same time. The safety controller can use each independent safety channel to control three distinct zones of a given machine. Each channel can also be combined to control up to two zones, as applications demand.

With GuardLink, individual sensors, switches, and locks don’t have to be wired back to the main panel. They can simply be connected to a T-tap and networked back to the 432ES module. The module itself easily connects back to the main panel or controller with a single ethernet cable.

The 432ES-IG3 shines in safety applications where it’s critical to be able to monitor many safety devices and identify which of the devices have caused a machine zone to transition from an operational to a safe state, while maintaining uncompromising levels of machine safety performance and integrity.

The 432ES-IG3 interface is designed for on-machine mounting, outside the control panel. It boasts IP66, IP67, and IP69K ratings to allow for use in wet industrial environments. It also supports linear, star, and Device Level Ring topologies, while meeting the highest safety ratings up to SIL 3, Cat 4 Ple. It’s ideal for larger machines where eliminating the need for complex wiring can bring simplicity and minimize confusion.

Guardlink EthernetIP Interface Graphic

Dual GuardLink Solution Ideal for Smaller Applications

The 432ES-IG3 gets the job done in larger applications already utilizing a GuardLogix controller. But what about smaller applications?

The Guardmaster DG Dual GuardLink Safety Relay is a multi-functional safety relay that provides up to 20 configurable safety functions with an optional time delay of the relay outputs. Enjoy easy configuration with the DG safety relay’s two pushbuttons and rotary switch for setting time delay. The relay’s built-in diagnostic function will enable you to minimize downtime while increasing productivity.

Put Smart Safety to Work for Your Business

Can you imagine a machine safety solution that actually boosts productivity and enhances business performance? We’ve seen time and again companies that take a holistic approach to machine safety by leveraging smart devices, achieve significantly higher Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). With less unscheduled downtime and less than half the injury rate of their average-performing peers, these companies are turning safety into a profit center.

It’s clear whether you’re building machines or using them, smart safety is good for business. It helps you improve productivity, protect your people, and enable the Connected Enterprise goals we’re all trying to achieve.

Agilix Solutions is your partner in implementing GuardLink technology in your facility. As a Rockwell Automation Authorized Distributor, we feature both the vast inventory to meet your machine safety needs as well as the deep bench of expertise ready to help you make an informed decision. Reach out to your Account Manager or contact your nearest Agilix branch to take the first step.