Do I Really Need an Expensive Safety PLC?

The answer is “NO”, for the vast majority of machines. Instead, consider using a Safety Controller if you have several safety sensors and want to include logic in your safety system. As an example, consider a pretty standard packaging application with 2 door interlocks, 3 light curtains and 4 emergency stops. Further, the exit conveyors require muting on the light curtains.

This can be done simply with a Banner XS26 Safety Controller, which has 26 inputs and 2 solid state safety outputs. We can even monitor the safety devices via Ethernet from the systems standard PLC, creating a Category 4 safety circuit. All of this can be done with a safety controller that is as low as $500. The software is always free and really easy to use. Compare that to any safety PLC and you will most likely save thousands of dollars.

Larger systems may require more I/O, which can easily be added to this expandable device. You may even want a relay output to drive force guided relays or safety contactors in your Category 3 or 4 circuit. This can be done with a relay output expansion module as well. You can also drive non safety devices like indication lights or alarms.

For smaller machines the SC10 hybrid safety controller will save you even more money. It is fully programmable with Ethernet standard, 10 safety inputs and two 6 amp relay safety outputs.

Bulwark Safety Systems is happy to help you determine which safety devices are the most practical and cost effective for your machines. Just drop us an email or give us a call.