FAIL SAFE LADDER LOGIC PROGRAM

Fail-safe design

In control systems, safety is (or at least should be) an important design priority. If there are multiple ways in which a digital control circuit can be designed to perform a task, and one of those ways happens to hold certain advantages in safety over the others, then that design is the better one to choose.In this session we are gonna discuss about fail safe ladder logic program.

Logic circuits, whether comprised of electromechanical relays or solid-state gates, can be built in many different ways to perform the same functions. There is usually no one “correct” way to design a complex logic circuit, but there are usually ways that are better than others.

Let’s take a look at a simple system and consider how it might be implemented in relay logic. Suppose that a large laboratory or industrial building is to be equipped with a fire alarm system, activated by any one of several latching switches installed throughout the facility. The system should work so that the alarm siren will energize if any one of the switches is actuated. At first glance it seems as though the relay logic should be incredibly simple: just use normally-open switch contacts and connect them all in parallel with each other:

Essentially, this is the OR logic function implemented with four switch inputs. We could expand this circuit to include any number of switch inputs, each new switch being added to the parallel network, but I’ll limit it to four in this example to keep things simple. At any rate, it is an elementary system and there seems to be little possibility of trouble.

Except in the event of a wiring failure, that is. The nature of electric circuits is such that “open” failures (open switch contacts, broken wire connections, open relay coils, blown fuses, etc.) are statistically more likely to occur than any other type of failure. With that in mind, it makes sense to engineer a circuit to be as tolerant as possible to such a failure. Let’s suppose that a wire connection for Switch #2 were to fail open:

What if the system were re-engineered so as to sound the alarm in the event of an open failure? That way, a failure in the wiring would result in a false alarm, a scenario much more preferable than that of having a switch silently fail and not function when needed. In order to achieve this design goal, we would have to re-wire the switches so that an open contact sounded the alarm, rather than a closed contact. That being the case, the switches will have to be normally-closed and in series with each other, powering a relay coil which then activates a normally-closed contact for the siren:

 

When all switches are un actuated (the regular operating state of this system), relay CR1 will be energized, thus keeping contact CR1 open, preventing the siren from being powered. However, if any of the switches are actuated, relay CR1 will de-energize, closing contact CR1 and sounding the alarm. Also, if there is a break in the wiring

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