Key-in-pocket solution

Pilz – Safe automation, automation technology - Pilz INT

The “key-in-pocket” maintenance safeguarding system described in your message seems to be a comprehensive solution for protecting personnel during maintenance activities. This system utilizes RFID keys with corresponding permissions, eliminating the need for traditional lockout/tagout (LOTO) systems that rely on mechanical interlocking devices and warning tags. This is the core safety controller that plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety of the maintenance process. It works in conjunction with other components to control access and prevent unauthorized machine restarts.

The PITreader is responsible for authenticating personnel using personal transponder keys. This component ensures that only authorized individuals with the correct permissions can access the danger zone. Each maintenance personnel is equipped with a personal transponder key containing RFID technology. These keys are individually programmed with specific permissions, allowing access to the danger zone based on the user’s role or responsibilities.

The PSS 4000 maintains a safe list that stores the security IDs of individuals with authorized access. This list is dynamically updated as personnel enter or leave the danger zone, ensuring that the machine cannot be restarted until the last person has exited. Employees use their transponder keys to authenticate themselves on the safety gate via the PITreader. The security ID from their transponder key is then added to the safe list in the PSS 4000 controller. The concept of having the transponder key in the employee’s pocket ensures that as long as the key is with the person, the machine remains in a safe state. This eliminates the risk of an unplanned machine restart while personnel are still in the danger zone.

To enable the machine for operation, personnel must sign out via the PITreader after leaving the plant. This action removes their security IDs from the safe list. The machine remains disabled until the safe list is empty, indicating that all personnel have left the danger zone. Overall, this system provides an electronic and secure method for managing access during maintenance activities, enhancing safety by preventing unauthorized machine restarts and ensuring that maintenance personnel are protected from potential hazards.

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