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Evolving needs of automation users addressed

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PILZ Automation recently provided an update on its new products and strategies at its main German headquarters, having enhanced its product offering and added new consulting services to address the evolving needs of automation users.

Released as a new product line in 2002, Pilz’ PNOZmulti is a programmable modular safety relay system that replaces conventional safety relays with a flexible and programmable solution. Positioned between standard safety relays and Pilz’ high-end line of safety PLCs, PNOZmulti replaces multiple hard-wired safety relays with a single, expandable controller.

Pilz has now extended the PNOZmulti line by adding new modules. The PNOZ ms1p is an add-on module designed to monitor the speed and standstill of electric motors. Each module can monitor up to two axes independently, and the PNOZmulti controller can be fitted with a maximum of four ms1p speed and standstill monitors. The module is designed to meet the needs of the machine tool industry, fulfilling the European safety requirements of EN 12417 for machining centres and EN 12415 for lathes.

Hazards on machinery are frequently the result of moving parts, but isolating the power is often inconvenient or inappropriate - especially for commissioning and maintenance. Slow-moving parts can be acceptable under certain conditions, or power can remain connected so long as there is a system in place to monitor the hazardous mechanism to check that it is not moving.

Speed and standstill monitoring can simplify machine control and improve the efficiency of commissioning, production and maintenance. Using a speed and standstill monitoring module can help reduce downtime if, for example, it is required to run a machine at a reduced speed or to keep the power supply connected in the event of a machine guard being opened for maintenance or commissioning.

An additional enhancement to the PNOZmulti product line is the new “mc3p” communications module that links the PNOZmulti to a Profibus DP fieldbus network as a slave device.

This link allows machine builders to use a PNOZmulti to control and monitor the safety functions and output data that can be transferred via Profibus to a PLC or other machine controller at a data rate of up to 12 Mbit/s. This data can be monitored, stored or used within a machine control system, for example, to display the status of the safety devices.

Pilz also announced plans to launch similar communications modules for use with the DeviceNet, CANopen, Interbus and CC-Link industrial fieldbus protocols.

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