Data protection and network security

Pilz – Safe automation, automation technology - Pilz INT

Data protection and network security is becoming ever more relevant around industrial installations. A safety concept needs to consider aspects of both Safety and Security. Only a holistic approach can effectively prevent vulnerabilities. The best safety gate protection is worthless if your data, know-how and operations are not sufficiently secured against unauthorised access and an external attacker penetrates your control network or tampers with the control system. The industrial SecurityBridge firewall protects the data flow to your Pilz controller from “external” threats, such as hacker attacks for example, thus protecting it from manipulation. The firewall monitors the data traffic between the PC and controller and reports any unauthorised changes to the control project. That way it provides effective protection against network-based attacks and unauthorised access.

Operating mode selection is part of the functional safety, if switching over between different safety levels and safety functions is required. This is frequently the case if a tool change is pending or a machine is to be reconfigured. One or more safety devices, such as safety gates or enabling switches for example, can be switched on or off, depending on the selected operating mode. The associated increased risk of damage to the plant and risk of injury to personnel must be minimised. In order to exclude the possibility of misuse and manipulation to the greatest possible extent, access to operating mode selection must be restricted to appropriately qualified employees and must be designed to be as simple and convenient for the user as possible.

The operating mode selection and access permission system PITmode not only offers functionally safe switching of the operating mode through self-monitoring up to PL d Cat 3 of EN ISO 13849-1 or SIL CL 2 of EN 62061, but also controls access rights, and as such is the ideal solution for your machinery. With its electronic keys, it provides significantly more security than classic keys. That’s because, all too often, they are inserted in the machine and thus offer just as little security as password protection, as the password is often commonly known.

This solution ensures that a machine cannot resume operation while people are still in the danger zone. The maintenance safeguarding system Key-in-pocket is designed for machines with danger zones, which are protected by a safety fence and which employees need to access – robot cells for example. In comparison with conventional lockout-tagout (LOTO) systems, maintenance safeguarding with the Key-in-pocket solution is implemented via RFID keys with corresponding permissions and a safe list in the Pilz controllers. As a result, it provides purely electronic restart protection and makes mechanical interlocking devices and warning tags redundant.

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