Strong market for mobile robotics

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.

Fur­ther infor­ma­tion:
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.

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