Safety delivered promptly

“On our plants, it is not a case of inte­grating a light bar­rier some­where or other. Instead, it’s impor­tant to also con­sider the pro­duc­tion envi­ron­ment and to safely manage human-machine inter­ac­tion”, says Andreas Stummer, CTO of the Aus­trian spe­cial pur­pose machine builder SRW. For him, how­ever, this is just one of many rea­sons for the long-time coop­er­a­tion with Pilz.

The order books at SRW Automa­tion & Ser­vice GmbH are full. That’s no sur­prise, as the spe­cialist skills of the com­pany, founded in early 2016, didn’t go unno­ticed for long: “We were well posi­tioned right from the start, both tech­ni­cally and in terms of per­sonnel. We have expe­ri­enced spe­cial­ists from the widest range of sec­tors working here, including from spe­cial pur­pose machine building and gen­eral automa­tion. We can repli­cate all engi­neering ser­vices inter­nally – from design of the mechan­ical con­struc­tion to soft­ware issues”, says Andreas Stummer, autho­rised rep­re­sen­ta­tive and Chief Tech­nical Officer (CTO) at SRW. That’s why their port­folio offers com­plete, tailor-made solu­tions, par­tic­u­larly for com­plex robot tech­nology, inter­linked machinery or spe­cial pur­pose machine building. These solu­tions are not only designed, but also devel­oped and man­u­fac­tured – a one-stop shop.

Whether it’s a case of designing a new instal­la­tion or converting/upgrading an existing plant – the Vorch­dorf-based com­pany hits the target with its appli­ca­tion-ori­ented, solu­tion-based thinking. Andreas Stummer explains the cri­teria by which he selects the automa­tion com­po­nents to use: “We operate inde­pen­dently of any man­u­fac­turer and search for the best pos­sible tech­no­log­ical answer for each task.”

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Elec­trosen­si­tive pro­tec­tive equip­ment in the right cat­e­gory – that was the task for SRW. The solu­tion: PSENopt II safety light cur­tain from Pilz.

Coded safety switch: no chance of manipulation

For SRW, the automa­tion com­pany Pilz is an auto­matic starter on almost every project. “The non-con­tact safety switches PSEN­code with M12 con­nector are the prod­ucts we install the most. They are an advan­tage when no mechan­ical inter­lock is needed”, says the CTO. These coded safety switches PSEN­code really hit the target, and are used to mon­itor the posi­tion of guards in accor­dance with EN 60947–5‑3 and also for gen­eral posi­tion mon­i­toring. Thanks to RFID tech­nology, they pro­vide max­imum manip­u­la­tion pro­tec­tion in the smallest space pos­sible. The fact that PSEN­code is avail­able in many dif­ferent types makes this safety gate mon­itor espe­cially inter­esting for SRW. According to Stummer, this means the right type can be found for each appli­ca­tion.

Mission impossible? Plug and play makes installation simple!

Orders received by the Vorch­dorf com­pany often involve the linking of assembly and man­u­fac­turing tech­nology, robotics and mate­rial han­dling: Andreas Stummer stresses the high drive for inno­va­tion and problem-solving exper­tise of the SRW team: “The tasks that are referred to us are mostly very chal­lenging and tricky, because by now people know that we have some really clever and resourceful foxes working for us.” With this com­bined exper­tise, we have often achieved some­thing that would nor­mally be put into the cat­e­gory of “Mis­sion impos­sible” – for example, an assembly cell in which a robot pop­u­lates PCB boards with elec­tronic com­po­nents, which are then pressed.

In SRW’s module inser­tion sta­tion, PCB boards are pop­u­lated with elec­tronic com­po­nents. PSENopt II safety light cur­tains from Pilz ensure the safety of human and servo press. © Pilz GmbH & Co. KG, Ost­fildern

According to Stummer, this module inser­tion sta­tion is a prime example of a typ­ical SRW solu­tion, as it intel­li­gently com­bines some of the core areas of robotics, camera and assembly tech­nology: “On these power mod­ules there are 30 to 50 pins, with a one mil­limetre diam­eter. If one pin has moved by more than a tenth of a mil­limetre or is crooked, the affected power module is classed as an N.i.O. part (N.i.O = not in order).”

“The pressing process is also extreme: there is a servo press with tremen­dous power behind it – that’s a chal­lenge!”, Andreas Stummer explains. At this point, safety tech­nology again comes into play. Quite specif­i­cally, in this appli­ca­tion it was nec­es­sary to exclude any haz­ards arising from the inte­grated 6‑axis robot, the servo press and a moving round­table. “Our safety con­cept stip­u­lated elec­trosen­si­tive pro­tec­tive equip­ment in this case. We opted for the safety light cur­tains PSENopt II from Pilz, because they are the only ones to meet Cat­e­gory 3, and are simple to install, set up and put into oper­a­tion. It works via plug and play”, says Stummer, praising the devices.

Focus on safety: PSENopt II from Pilz are the only light cur­tains that meet Cat­e­gory 3. © Pilz GmbH & Co. KG, Ost­fildern

The elec­trosen­si­tive pro­tec­tive equip­ment is installed at the cor­rect dis­tance, so that the pro­tec­tion of human and machine is guar­an­teed. © Pilz GmbH & Co. KG, Ost­fildern

Light cur­tains from Pilz pro­vide finger and hand pro­tec­tion up to the highest cat­e­gory PL e. © Pilz GmbH & Co. KG, Ost­fildern

According to Stummer, the module inser­tion sta­tion is a typ­ical SRW solu­tion, as it intel­li­gently com­bines some of the core areas of robotics, camera and assembly tech­nology. © Pilz GmbH & Co. KG, Ost­fildern

With a pro­tected field height of 150 to 1800 mm, the light cur­tains are not only suit­able for finger and hand pro­tec­tion, but also for body pro­tec­tion up to the highest cat­e­gory PL e in accor­dance with EN IEC 61496–1/-2.

Determine safety distance simply and quickly

The safety dis­tance between the safe­guard and the work­place that needs pro­tecting is key for the safe oper­a­tion of a plant. In future, with the new browser-based soft­ware tool “Safety Dis­tance Cal­cu­lator”, users them­selves can cal­cu­late the safety dis­tances for light cur­tains simply and quickly, so they are always posi­tioned in com­pli­ance with the stan­dards. The tool is pri­marily ben­e­fi­cial in indus­trial sec­tors such as spe­cial pur­pose machine building, where the safety dis­tance needs to be recal­cu­lated fre­quently.

This is how it works: The “Safety Dis­tance Cal­cu­lator” deter­mines the nec­es­sary safety dis­tance based on the values entered by the user. Infor­ma­tion points pro­vide in-depth expla­na­tions of the indi­vidual cal­cu­la­tion steps. A graph­ical rep­re­sen­ta­tion illus­trates each cal­cu­la­tion so that it is easy to under­stand. Users receive an appro­priate product sug­ges­tion, based on the required safety level in accor­dance with ISO 13849 or IEC 62061.

Work hand in hand to resolve tricky tasks

Sev­eral appli­ca­tions at SRW are fitted with Pilz safety light cur­tains because they are very flex­ible to use. Via its Aus­trian sub­sidiary in Vienna, the German automa­tion com­pany has been working closely with the Upper Aus­trian spe­cial pur­pose machine builder and automa­tion spe­cialist since 2016. Andreas Stummer is highly sat­is­fied with the cus­tomer care: “We value having a sup­plier at our side who can use their exper­tise to help us with par­tic­u­larly tricky tasks. And Pilz has always been avail­able to us when we needed sup­port.”

Another example from robotics

Safety light cur­tains PSENopt II are again the proven solu­tion: in this case for simple infeed and/or simple removal. © Pilz GmbH & Co. KG, Ost­fildern

SRW worked with Pilz to imple­ment another safety con­cept for a con­tract man­u­fac­turer in the fur­ni­ture industry. Sev­eral existing machines were to be con­nected to new plants, with com­pre­hen­sive inline quality con­trols, with mate­rial logis­tics and with com­plex robotics or han­dling sys­tems. “From a safety per­spec­tive, this project requires a par­tic­u­larly high level of cre­ativity and problem-solving exper­tise, because manual feed and removal must be pos­sible at mul­tiple points, despite a fully auto­matic process. Despite many years of expe­ri­ence, this bal­ancing act between ‘What’s still pos­sible’ and ‘When will we finally reach the end of the road of stan­dard com­pli­ance’ is a new and exciting chal­lenge each time”, the CTO affirms. Safety com­po­nents in this appli­ca­tion are once again light cur­tains and safety locking devices from Pilz, in par­tic­ular the PSENopt II Type 3 safety light cur­tain, which com­pletely excludes dead zones and is the only model to date that is designed for Type 3 appli­ca­tions in accor­dance with IEC 61496, up to PL d. There was also the safety locking device PSEN­m­lock with inte­grated escape release, and the coded safety switches PSEN­code. According to Andreas Stummer, all these prod­ucts are cost-opti­mised and effec­tive, while also meeting the require­ments of EN ISO 14119, and there­fore pro­tect against haz­ardous move­ments.

Finally, CTO Andreas Stummer puts in a nut­shell the rea­sons for the long years of coop­er­a­tion with Pilz: “On our plants, it is not simply a case of inte­grating a light bar­rier or another safety com­po­nent some­where or other. Instead, in 99% of the cases brought before us, it’s impor­tant to also con­sider the pro­duc­tion envi­ron­ment and to safely manage human-machine inter­ac­tion”.

About SRW Automation & Service

The Aus­trian sys­tems inte­grator is known for inno­v­a­tive turnkey solu­tions in the field of com­plex robot tech­nology, inter­linked machines and spe­cial pur­pose machinery. The com­pany designs, develops and man­u­fac­tures con­trol sys­tems and plants to the cus­tomer’s require­ments – tailor-made spe­cial pur­pose machines, which are not avail­able off the shelf in the form in which they are needed. The spe­cial com­pe­tence of SRW is the plan­ning, inte­gra­tion and inter­linking of indi­vidual com­po­nents. With all these tasks, the employed safety tech­nology plays a sig­nif­i­cant role.

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