PILZ Automation Technology is launching a new version of the PNOZmulti software for service operations. Compared with the fully featured Configurator, it is substantially cheaper to purchase a software licence for the new PNOZmulti Service Tool.
The tool can be used to monitor the safety functions being performed by the PNOZmulti controller, as well as the status of the inputs and outputs. As such, it is particularly useful for diagnostics and troubleshooting, thereby helping to minimise the downtime in the event of a safety-related fault with the machinery of process.
If a new software configuration has been prepared for the PNOZmulti by the equipment supplier/integrator, or a safety specialist within the organisation, a maintenance engineer can use the Service Tool to upload it.
However, no changes to the configuration can be made using the Service Tool, so there is no risk of unauthorised tampering with the safety-related control software.
This is important for companies where, for example, a competency management scheme is being operated in line with the requirements of BS EN (IEC) 61508 (functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related control systems).
Under such a scheme, it might be the case that only a limited number of personnel are assessed as being competent to configure a PNOZmulti, but more are competent to use the Service Tool.
In addition, for large organisation there is the potential to make substantial savings on software licensing costs.
Whereas previously every authorised maintenance engineer would require a full version of the PNOZmulti Configurator, now they might simply be issued with the Service Tool, with one or two Configurator licences being purchased in case the need arises to modify the PNOZmulti configuration.