Allen-Bradley Allen-Bradley Home
Bulletin 280/281 ArmorStart Distributed Motor Controllers

ArmorStart Distributed Motor Controllers

Bulletin 280/281 ArmorStart® Distributed Motor Controllers offer a simple, cost-effective method of integrating combinations starters, I/O and network capabilities in your on-machine architecture. The product line includes both full-voltage and reversing starters, as well as a safety version that provides a solution for DeviceNet™ safety installations. ArmorStart with EtherNet/IP™ offers the advantages of distributed motor control, EtherNet/IP communication, and Embedded Switch Technology.

  • Overview
  • Documentation
  • Resources
  • Applications


  • Robust IP67/NEMA Type 4 and NEMA Type 4X enclosure rating
  • Gland plate entry: conduit entrance or ArmorConnect® power media
  • Four inputs and two outputs (expandable with ArmorPOINT® I/O)
  • EtherNet/IP™ embedded switch technology
  • DeviceLogix™ smart component technology
  • ControlNet™ and EtherNet/IP connectivity via ArmorPOINT communications
  • Source brake patch cables offer efficient installation maintenance
  • 193-DNCT DeviceNet™ Configuration Terminals
    • Offer more diagnostics with easier commissioning and programming
    • Use configurations that you can upload, store, and download to the device
    • Provide advanced health diagnostics including a heartbeat feature


ArmorStart® Distributed Motor Controller, Full-voltage Starter

  • 280A Motor Controller with ArmorPOINT Communications
  • 280D Motor Controller with DeviceNet Communications
  • 280D Safety Motor Controller with DeviceNet Communications
  • 280E Motor Controller with EtherNet/IP Communications

ArmorStart® Distributed Motor Controller, Reversing Starter

  • 281A Motor Controller  with ArmorPOINT Communications
  • 281D Motor Controller  with DeviceNet Communications
  • 281D Safety Motor Controller with DeviceNet Communications
  • 281E Motor Controller with EtherNet/IP Communications


  • cULus

Certifications apply when product is marked. See our Product Certification site for Declarations of Conformity, certificates and other certification details.

Learn More

Is it time to go On-machine? The "On-machine" philosophy moves automation and safety controllers on to the machine itself, rather than in a centrally-located cabinet, resulting in time and space savings. Read how this philosophy has been implemented in various industries.

The ArmorStart Virtual Demo explains the benefits of the ArmorStart® Distributed Motor Controller family, including:

  • Product positioning within the product family
  • Potential savings when using the On-Machine solution
  • DeviceNet™ and EtherNet/IP™ network solutions

Related Products


Distributed Motor Control Solutions Brochure280-BR001
ArmorStart EtherNet/IP Distributed Motor Controller Product Profile280-PP004
ArmorConnect Power Media Product Profile280-PP002
ArmorStart Distributed Motor Controller and ArmorConnect Power Media Selection Guide280-SG001
ArmorStart EtherNet/IP Communications and Control Programming Manual280E-PM001
ArmorStart DLR Reference Architecture Application Guide290E-AT001
More ArmorStart Distributed Starter publications in Literature LibraryAll Languages

Can’t Find What You Need?

Browse our Literature Library where you can search for additional publications in more languages. You can also use the Advanced Search feature to search by catalog number, publication type, title, or keywords to narrow your results.

Product Certifications

See our Product Certification site for Declarations of Conformity, certificates and other certification details.

Build This Catalog Number

Build or verify a catalog number, and get information and CAD drawings for these products.

Configuration & Selection Tools

  • CrossWorks — Convert competitive catalog numbers to similar Allen-Bradley® products.
  • ProposalWorks — Build complete quotes and proposals.

Firmware Updates

The ArmorStart® firmware is flash upgradeable.

Other Resources

  • ArmorStart EtherNet/IP Add-on Profile with DeviceLogix — The Add-on Profile offers quick and efficient program development with automatic tag generation, single-software configuration, and a user-friendly interface.
  • ArmorStart Savings Calculator — Use this calculator to estimate installations savings using On-Machine™ versus traditional wiring.
  • Integrated Architecture Builder — Select hardware and generate bills of materials for projects.
  • Procurement Specifications — Visit our online resource to find the procurement specifications for this product.
  • Safety Automation Builder — Streamline safety system design, including safety system layout, product selection, and safety analysis to help meet machinery safety performance level (PL) requirements established by ISO 13849-1.
  • Safety Resource Center — Access current safety-related white papers, videos, presentations, simulations, calculators, and other tools.
  • Knowledgebase — Visit our online resource for technical information, support chat and forums, software updates, and product safety advisories/notices.0


ArmorStart™ is suitable for many applications including:

  • Material handling applications such as food processing, beverage industry, automotive industry, distribution warehouse centers, and airport baggage handling systems.
  • Mining applications such as conveyor belts, pumps, and compressors.
  • Petrochemical applications such as pumps, fans, and compressors.