Mensch und Automation

Pilz – Safe automation, automation technology - Pilz INT

Our anniversary issue of “Mensch und Automation” takes you on a journey through 75 years of Pilz – from its beginnings as a glass-blowing business to today’s automation experts for Safety and Industrial Security. Read more about the joy of innovation and a value-oriented togetherness at Pilz. In conversation with Susanne Kunschert and Thomas Pilz, Managing Partners, they give their personal insights into the development of the safe automation supplier. A journey by scroll wheel – from glass-blowing business in 1948 to today’s automation expert for Safety and Industrial Security. Operating mode selection and access permission management increases Safety and Security on crack testing machines. In the aviation industry, even the most minor faults on the parts and components can lead to serious failures. In their production process, engine and turbine components pass through crack testing machines, as manufactured by Rhode + Wagner Anlagenbau GmbH, in order to meet the high quality standards.

The crack testing machine is around thirty metres long, approximately fifteen metres wide and up to seven metres high. It consists of several workspaces and process areas, with nine processing booths. In addition there are various infeeds, as well as robot-operated spray areas to wet the components. Crane and application systems are installed horizontally above the plant, transporting the turbine components, which weigh up to 500 kilogrammes and have up to one and a half metre diameters, from station to station. The outline concept for this crack testing machine was already there at the end of 2018. In detail its task was to safeguard all infeed and access areas, so that any hazards for operating and maintenance employees were excluded. Above all, an intelligent solution was to be found, which would assign personalised, task-specific operating mode and access permissions to the respective operators.

Not every employee who has access to the machine needs and should be permitted to have all the operating, intervention and change options available on the extensive plant. An operator has different tasks and permissions to a machine setter or service personnel. With PITmode fusion you can completely set up a complex, safe permission management system. Employees are given their task-based, personalised RFID transponder, containing the appropriately adapted access permission and machine enable. When an operator inserts their key and selects the required operating mode, the system compares the permission on the key with the requested operating mode. When enabled, the multicolour LED ring on the PITreader gives the “green light”. That way the operator can only carry out the tasks they are intended to perform. Any other access or intervention is denied and thus manipulation protection is guaranteed. That minimises the risks and significantly increases a plant’s Safety and Industrial Security standard.

The Pilz PSENslock, the safety gate system with process guarding, and PSENmlock, the safety gate system with mechanical guard locking, are also integral components of the safety concept. While PSENslock offers safe position monitoring with process guard locking in a single system, PSENmlock can be used up to the highest category thanks to safe interlocking and safe guard locking for the protection of personnel and processes. On the crack testing machine, PSENslock is used to safeguard position: as material is fed in, the switch checks that the necessary holding force of the electromagnet has been established and therefore the loading carriage is standing firm. The safety gate system PSENmlock ensures safe monitoring and safe guard locking on fourteen safety gates: it guarantees safe mechanical guard locking, protecting personnel in the immediate environment.

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