For Pilz Spain, founded in 1992, long-termism is what mainly counts, both with customer relations and with regard to its mission to foster a safety culture in the country. Every year, the subsidiary trains more than 600 machine manufacturers and operators in machinery safety. In view of the increasing trend towards mobile robotics, Pilz in Spain is bundling its expertise in that area.
“Flexibility, mobility and rapid reactions are fundamental attributes of our team.” So says General Manager Luis Taverner, describing his staff at Pilz Spain. “The situation in Spain today is much safer, not least thanks to our social responsibility as a company, and the training and advice we provide for customers.” For more than 30 years, Pilz Spain has supported customers looking for robust, reliable and safe solutions for their machinery.
Many end customers also approach the experts from Pilz to find out how they must have the machinery they have bought assessed and certified.
This is where the department for safety services comes into play. If the machine originates from another country, the international consulting service at Pilz Spain is greatly appreciated, because specialists from Pilz accompany the whole certification process, based on applicable standards and safety regulations. “Pilz Spain is an international benchmark in the field of safety services”, says Taverner. “In addition, each year we train more than 600 machine manufacturers and operators in machinery safety. Our customers really appreciate our engineering, Pilz Care and consulting services. We also implement safety technology on both new and retrofit applications, and our PILZ Care Service covers our customers’ emergency and maintenance requirements.
Focus: Machinery safety in mobile robotics
If you look at the number of robot applications worldwide, then Spain is in the leading group. Where mobile robotics are concerned, since this technology was developed, Spain has been one of the European countries with the most manufacturers of automated guided vehicle systems (AGVS). In the last ten years alone, the number of Spanish companies specialising in mobile robotics has grown by more than 40 per cent. So it is only logical that Pilz Spain has an expert team dealing 100 per cent with mobile robot applications. The team consists of employees with specialist knowledge in classic automation, machinery safety, industrial and mobile robotics, process simulation, software development and ROS (Robot Operating System, an operating system for industrial robots).
If customers approach Pilz with market-specific questions about robotics, then the experts from Spain are often consulted. For example, just recently the team was involved in a project for a chemical concern. The pesticide filling machine manufacturer wanted to integrate four standard-compliant depalletising cells into their existing plant, and contacted Pilz. Although the project was managed by the service department at Pilz Spain, the robotics experts were closely involved in the decision-making – from the project concept in the bid phase through to the engineering phase, the design of the cells (robot, gripper, layouts …) and process simulations through to final implementation (robot programming etc.).
ISO 3691–4 – the standard for mobile robotics
ISO 3691–4 represents a turning point on the market for mobile robots (AGVS), particularly with regard to the safety systems to be applied. ISO 3691–4 creates a clear and defined frame of reference for the safety of AGVS and is adapted to the technological developments, e.g. to the increasingly popular free navigation systems or autonomous mobile robots (AMR). However, it obliges the manufacturer to introduce new safety concepts or update existing ones, as it defines up to 27 safety functions (compared to ten in the previous directive). The standard defines a classification based on warning and protection zones, corresponding to the various risks for AGVS (distances, presence of people, …). Pilz supports manufacturers as they adapt to the requirements of ISO 3691–4, providing appropriate safety solutions for AGVS and also offering Consulting services, through to CE marking in accordance with ISO 3691–4. These services are not only useful for vehicle manufacturers, but also for integrators.
News „Updated edition of ISO 3691–4 published“ on the Pilz website
Trends in mobile robotics
Spain is noticing a trend towards specialisation at global level: relevant, commercially available solutions are emerging for each component or subsystem of an AGVS. They make the construction and commissioning of AGVS much simpler. Pilz is keeping an eye on this trend and is offering safety solutions intended to make it easier for AGVS manufacturers to comply with the latest safety standards, such as ISO 3691–4, for example. The team in Spain is involved in the development of appropriate solutions for the AGVS market. The latest development: a comprehensive safety solution for freely navigating mobile platforms, consisting of the safe small controller PNOZmulti 2 with new functionality for synchronisation monitoring, safety laser scanners PSENscan for productive area monitoring, and various signal devices. It will be introduced to the public for the first time at the 2023 SPS exhibition in Nuremberg.