In the world of automation, there are many choices, and when efficiency and safety are on the line, making the right decision is critical. Motion Ai can help you make the correct choice based on your needs while keeping your workers safe. Before you decide whether you need standard or safety PLCs, it’s helpful to know what they are and how they differ. Familiarizing yourself with your tools is essential to workplace safety.
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are known for their reliability and ability to run automated systems efficiently. One of the key benefits of using PLCs is their well-established hardware and software, which makes them familiar to both the controls designer and end-user. In addition, PLCs typically have their own operating systems and development environments, ensuring stability and long-term usability.
The two major kinds of PLCs are standard and safety, each with its primary functionality and use when it comes to automation. All standard PLCs automate machine processes, such as timing, control, sequencing, and starting/stopping motors, pumps, valves, and other components. Their purpose is to run systems efficiently without human intervention, except in case of problems.
Safety PLCs are similar to standard PLCs in their basic operation but are designed to meet safety directives such as IEC 62061, ISO 13849-1, and IEC 61058. They control the same mechanical components as standard PLCs but with added integrated safety functions and control of safety systems and equipment. In addition, these PLCs are designed for reliability, with built-in redundancy and predictable failure modes for quick problem-solving. They also feature diagnostic capabilities and automatic shut-down in case of issues. Additionally, they have a safety circuit between the output and connected device for protection during malfunctions.
The need for a safety PLC depends on your country's and industry's safety regulations. Different industries, such as food and beverage, may have stricter regulations, so it's essential to understand the safety requirements for your application. safety PLCs can replace the need for safety relays, resulting in cost savings from reduced parts and wiring. Systems utilizing safety PLCs are also more adaptable and easier to modify as they only require programming changes, not hardware and wiring modifications.
The drawbacks of using a safety PLC vary based on the situation. Although safety PLCs can offer cost savings in the long term, they usually have higher initial costs than other options. As a result, there may be better choices for smaller applications that only require a safety relay to control a light curtain and stop button, for instance. Ultimately, the suitability of a safety PLC depends on the specific application and automation needs.
No matter which PLC you choose, the right choice involves working with the right supplier. Motion Ai has all the PLC products you need to optimize your automation process. We hope this article was informative and aided you in selecting the right tool for the job. Standard or safety, whichever PLC you choose, Motion Ai has it available at a competitive price. Browse Motion Ai today to learn more about our offerings and services.