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New safety I/O controller enabling smart system architecture

Written: Friday, March 11, 2016 10:35:00 AM

At Bauma 2016 CrossControl is launching CrossFire SX - a compact, safety certified I/O-controller for advanced hydraulic control. By leveraging the latest technology in CPUs, CrossFire SX makes it possible to have a SIL2 system with the same cost as a non-safety system. Most safety controllers in the market today come with a high I/O count, fitting the task as main controller in a centralized system architecture. CrossFire SX has 32 totally configurable I/O channels, meaning that you instead can design a modular system with multiple nodes, reducing cabling complexity and optimizing system hardware cost.

The global trend on Safety and Security is already very visible in the industrial vehicle market and mandatory safety regulations are likely to drive the market for machine safety systems in the coming years. Another driver is the improvement in performance and brand image that a safe machine system brings. With the mission to make it easy for OEMs and system developers to succeed with implementing safe yet cost efficient machine control systems, CrossControl has developed the CrossFire SX I/O controller platform.

Demanding Safety standards
CrossFire SX is certified to the safety standard for Agricultural and Forestry equipment, ISO 25119 as well as the standard for Earth moving machinery, ISO 15998. In addition, it is certified to the more generic standards ISO 13849 (PLd) and IEC 61508 (SIL 2). This means that it supports adoption to other standards
  CrossFire SX controller - for machine control
like the automotive standard IEC 26262. The use of IEC /TR 62380 means that CrossFire SX has adoptability to application specific mission profiles. On the whole, this certification strategy means that CrossFire SX is a future proof platform that gives industrial vehicle OEMs flexibility to meet both the legislative requirements of today as well as emerging requirements.
CrossFire SX controller - for machine control   Modern core
CrossFire SX has a 32-bit ARM Cortex R4 safety CPU with dual cores. It comes with an external SRAM memory of up to 2MB and a 64 kb EEPROM. Compared to earlier safety architectures, this modern kernel means you can have a much more efficient realization of safety functions. Two additional 32-bit processors means outstanding control performance on the 16 output channels.   Communication interfaces include 3 CAN buses and RS232. The CAN buses support CANopen or SAEJ1939 with speed up to 1 Mbit/s.
Software options
CrossFire SX is freely programmable in either C or CODESYS. It comes with a complete board support package with easy access to I/O drivers. CrossControl has a proven safety process with all artefacts needed in a safety project and a certified tool chain with all necessary documentation to ensure a lean safety assessment.  Although designed to be a freely programmable controller, CrossFire SX is also available as CANopen slave.
  CrossFire SX controller - for machine control
CrossFire SX controller - for machine control   Enabling a smart control system architecture
With CrossFire SX’s 32 I/O channels you can design a modular and distributed control system. Pilot customers on the platform have utilized this, rendering them a system that is better scalable on their applications -  Base system with 2 controllers, adding a 3rd controller for more advanced machines etc. The concept of distribution and modularization is beneficial also in engineering phase as it makes it possible to drive development of a sub-system independently of other system parts.
Flexible I/O channels
CrossFire SX has 16 inputs and 16 outputs, all totally configurable in terms of I/O type. Inputs support Digital, Current, Frequency and Voltage in different ranges. Outputs support High and Low Current outputs, PWM, current controlled PWM (PWMi), Digital HS/LS. It also features two H-bridges for DC motor control as well as sensor power supply with protection against short circuit and overload.

The configurability brings great flexibility in how to use the device in a certain application. All I/O configuration is done in software, meaning that identical hardware can be flashed to perform different controller tasks. In the case of a modular/distributed system it means that one hardware can be used across the system, making the BOM for the vehicle system shorter and spare parts handling much leaner.

  CrossFire SX controller - for machine control
In practice this means that a manufacturer now only needs to stock one part number where he previously has been forced to keep a costly and non-optimized supply. Another great advantage of this versatile approach is that a sensor or valve often can be replaced to something different without the need of rerouting the cable harnesses.

Although the I/O channels are flexible and laid out to satisfy a wide range of I/O contexts, CrossFire SX has been developed with the needs of hydraulics control in focus. For proportional control it features both normal PWM and PWMi (current controlled) outputs. The PWMi outputs have a high fixed frequency and a freely adjustable dither current (0-400 mA) and frequency (25-400 Hz) making it possible to create very elaborate and precise controls that take into consideration aspects such as wear and temperature.

CrossFire SX has drive capacity to handle most hydraulics drive applications. 12 of the outputs have a capacity of 2000 mA each, satisfying most mobile hydraulics drive needs. 4 of the outputs can drive 4000mA each, enabling drive of industrial hydraulics. For very high loads, the two H-bridges can also be used as PWM’s and drive up 15A each.

Normal controller too
Even though it has been designed as a safety controller, CrossFire SX can off course be applied in applications without formal requirements on functional safety. Hardware specification is still identical with the safety version, meaning that the non-safety version has a very strong hardware design foundation with MTBF calculations and other assessments that prove the design. In an application without safety requirements this translates into values that in most machine control contexts are as important – quality and reliability.
  CrossFire SX controller - for machine control

Built to last
CrossFire SX has an enclosure made off glass fiber reinforced nylon, meeting sealing classes IP65, 66 and 67. To endure the most challenging environments, it is potted with silicone gel. The potting means and extra insurance against water intrusion but also improves shock and vibration resistance. Operating temperature is -40 - +85 C.

CrossFire SX comes with E, CE and FCC marking. Environmental testing covers requirements for Agricultural and CE/Earthmoving equipment as well as requirements for On-road equipment and Industrial.

CrossFire SX controller - for machine control

Heritage in functional safety
CrossControl has a long track record in functional safety. In 2008-2009 the company developed the world’s first safe display computer – a SIL2 certified HMI display for the railway industry. This has been followed by additional safe display computers for this industry. Besides providing safety products, the company is supporting its customers with safety engineering services, assisting customers in hazard analysis, creation of safety plans, software and hardware analysis by FMEA and FTA etc.

The launch of CrossFire SX accentuates CrossControl’s commitment to support OEMs in the industrial vehicle market in making machines smarter, safer and more productive.

Come and meet us at Bauma, in Hall A3 Stand 304!