First-Ever Safety I/O Node with EtherNet/IP Capability


— Rockwell Automation announces the release of Allen Bradley CompactBlock Guard I/O on EtherNet/IP, the industry’s first safety I/O module to feature EtherNet/IP connectivity.
This significant product release allows companies to use the widely recognized industry standard EtherNet/IP protocol in conjunction with an Allen Bradley GuardLogix controller or other Safety PLCs that incorporate the CIP Safety protocol over EtherNet/IP. Safety PLC systems, including Safety I/O, enable manufacturers to deploy safety applications with the flexibility of programmable controllers as opposed to the traditional approach of using hard-wired safety relays. Safety networks allow manufacturers to distribute the safety I/O, reducing wiring and installation costs, while making diagnostic information available to the standard control and HMI system.
CompactBlock Guard I/O on EtherNet/IP detects failures at the I/O and field-device level, while enhancing operator protection in many applications including robotic,  
point-of-operation, guard-monitoring and remote control applications. It communicates over the EtherNet/IP network using the industry standard CIP Safety protocol, making it compatible with standard Ethernet infrastructure devices, including wired and wireless products.
Manufacturing and process customers can control and monitor the equipment’s safety devices with one of the CompactBlock Guard I/O modules, using the same data network for general automation control and factory-floor business systems.
In addition to the new CompactBlock Guard I/O on EtherNet/IP, the Guard I/O family includes a full suite of products that connect to DeviceNet from Allen Bradley for in-cabinet and on-machine applications. DeviceNet is an open device-level network that provides connections between simple industrial devices, such as sensors and actuators, and higher-level devices, such as programmable controllers and computers.
“With CompactBlock Guard I/O on EtherNet/IP, we are expanding our range of innovative safety products and supporting the open networks that more customers are demanding,” said Dan Hornbeck, manager, Safety Business Development, Rockwell Automation. “We are committed to continuing to break new ground for safety solutions in the automation industry and offer our customers the products and services they need to best protect their personnel and machinery.”

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