Safety relay slots into PLC rack
Mitsubishi’s innovative approach to safety relays closely integrates the stand alone protection and performance of safety circuits and the diagnostic capability of the PLC either by incorporation of the new QS safety relay onto the PLC rack, or by direct high speed CC-Link for the stand alone networked version. This configuration means that for the first time, detailed intelligence is instantly available on the operational condition of the safety relay as well as the status of each of the connected safety circuits, thereby allowing rapid identification of safety conditions on the plant.
“This is a major step forward for plant owners and machine operators,” says Mitsubishi’s Jeremy Shinton. “Typically a manufacturing plant will have a number of safety circuits on it, each with its own standalone safety relay protecting one particular aspect of the process. If one of these circuits trip, the whole plant may be effectively shut down and production lost while engineers inspect the machine or process line looking for the appropriate relay and circuit to identify its cause and correcting the reason before restarting operations. With today’s tight margins any plant down time in manufacturing is bad news.
The Mitsubishi intelligent QS Safety Relay addresses this on two levels. Firstly the tripped circuit is instantly identified at the control system. This information can then be visualised by HMI, SCADA or simple panel indicators which dramatically reduce the circuit search and locate time. Secondly a history of trips and their causes can be logged and analysed, leading to identification of recurring issues which can thus be addressed. In developing the QS Safety Relay, Mitsubishi also realised the importance of the fact that something like half of all safety shutdowns are merely nuisance trips – typically someone brushing against an E-stop or a light curtain being broken by a badly wielded broom. Each inadvertent stoppage adversely affects productivity and impacts the bottom line of the host business.
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