Cost-effective safety controller is configured to orderElobau is promoting its recently launched eloFlex configurable safety controllers that, unlike alternative configurable safety controllers, are configured to order by Elobau; customers simply define the safety functions required by means of an intuitive online configurator. This approach has several advantages: the configuration on the supplied controller cannot be tampered with by unqualified personnel at the machine builder, system integrator or end user; there is no need to purchase a license for a configurator software tool; and the purchase price of the hardware is approximately half that of customer-configurable safety controllers from other suppliers. Elobau believes that this type of configured-to-order safety controller is currently unique in the market.
According to Elobau, the eloFlex is highly suitable for cost-sensitive applications where multiple machines are being built and the need is for safety functions of low to medium complexity. Furthermore, if different variants of a machine are built, often a single eloFlex configuration can be developed to suit all machine variants, with unused inputs simply being bridged. Compared with using multiple conventional safety relays, the eloFlex requires less cabinet space (it is only 45mm wide), simplifies ordering and stockholding, and greatly reduces the costs associated with wiring - as well as the risk of wiring errors being made. If repeat orders are required, customers just have one part number that corresponds to the eloFlex controller and the specific configuration.
eloFlex safety controllers operate from 24V DC and have a maximum switching voltage of 250V AC or 30V DC and a maximum switching current of 3A. Depending on the model specified, each controller comes with up to four safety inputs and four safety outputs, though Elobau also offers expansion modules that enable the eloFlex to be used with a greater number of safety I/O; eloFlex controllers are suitable for use with emergency stop switches, safety sensors, guard switches, safety light curtains, laser area scanners and two-hand controls. Controllers are rated at SIL 3, PL e and safety category 4.
The online eloFlex Configurator is a cross between a selection wizard and a drag-and-drop graphical configurator. It has been designed to be intuitive, though technical support is readily available should that prove necessary. There are only four steps in the configuration process:
Each configuration is validated and documented by Elobau to help customers with CE marking in accordance with the relevant harmonised machinery safety standards.
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