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Automation, Control & Plant Intelligence News Updates   |   February, 2009
New Rockwell Automation Safety Control Solution Helps Improve Worker Safety and System Flexibility in Unwinding and Rewinding Applications

Innovative preconfigured Wind-up and Let-off safety solution helps tire companies address pervasive manufacturing issue

MILWAUKEE, Feb. 17, 2009 — To help tire, metal and paper manufacturers better protect employees while maintaining productivity, Rockwell Automation has introduced the Allen-Bradley Wind-up and Let-off safety solution, a preconfigured safety control solution that helps meet global safety standards.

The need for safety in this area is well established. OSHA reports show three to five serious injuries monthly in the tire and rubber industry, and the Rubber Manufacturing Association (RMA) has deemed wind-ups and let-offs a target area for safety improvement. At nearly every stage throughout a tire manufacturing plant, rubber is being wound onto enormous spools (wind-ups) and then let off (let-offs) those spools for the next phase in the process. These wind-up and let-off operations are semiautomatic, and require operators to continuously monitor and interact with the rubber products.

Safety solutions of the past relied on the only option available to meet safety regulations: hardwired, stand-alone safety relays. In this system, detection of operator presence stops the machine. Today, manufacturers can take advantage of an innovative safety solution, which employs a flexible approach to operator interaction. This allows for multiple modes of operation, thus preventing operators from choosing between safety and productivity.

“With the Wind-up and Let-off safety solution, manufacturers are better able to protect employees without hindering productivity,” said Jim Neawedde, segment business leader for the automotive and tire industry, Rockwell Automation. “As the global market leader in machine and process safety, Rockwell Automation is committed to creating innovative safety solutions that make it easier for our customers to meet safety requirements and productivity goals simultaneously.”

The core technology of the Wind-up and Let-off safety solution is the Allen-Bradley GuardLogix safety controller or the Allen-Bradley SmartGuard 600 compact programmable safety controller, which allows for a wide variety of open connectivity options. Customers can choose to utilize this solution as a stand-alone mode or integrate it with their existing system architecture.

The Wind-up and Let-off safety solution comes preconfigured with standardized software that can be rapidly deployed. The software supports plug-in device connections, including e-stop and trip devices, presence-sensing devices, gate interlocks, two-hand controls and drives with integrated safety functionality. It can be used for a single zone or across multiple zones.

This unique framework provides a holistic safety architecture based on plug-in modules that are fully assembled, tested and ready to run for a scalable solution. With improved maintainability and a minimal overall footprint, field wiring is also reduced for easier deployment.

Because the Wind-up and Let-off safety solution is modular and scalable, it is designed to help meet users’ needs today and in the future. The flexible design helps machine builders and manufacturers rapidly deploy a solution on an existing line with minimal cost and engineering time. Standard hardware and software documentation designed for the solution make its start-up and maintenance activities easier. The modularity affords simplified configuration and seamless linking throughout the plant or to existing controls.

The Wind-up and Let-off safety solution is available for delivery. A trained staff of global consulting engineers from Rockwell Automation can help design and configure the system, as well as assist manufacturers and machine builders to conduct audits to verify and document compliance for a variety of safety standards.

Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK), is a leading global provider of industrial automation power, control and information solutions that help manufacturers achieve a competitive advantage for their businesses. The company brings together leading global brands in industrial automation that include Allen-Bradley controls and services, and Rockwell Software factory management software. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., the company employs about 20,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.

For more information on the Wind-up and Let-off safety solution, please visit Rockwell Automation at the Tire Technology Expo booth #4730 in hall A1 or visit

Allen-Bradley, GuardLogix, Listen.Think.Solve., Rockwell Software and SmartGuard are trademarks of Rockwell Automation, Inc.

Media contacts:
Tanja Bartulovic
Rockwell Automation

Dani Litt
Padilla Speer Beardsley Inc.

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