Rockwell Automation announces the release of two new tools to help machine and equipment builders, and manufacturers save time when designing machinery safety systems.
The two new tools, Rockwell Automation Safety Automation Builder (SAB) configuration software and Safety Functions pre-engineered design documents help users navigate the safety system design process and apply best practices.
Available as a free download from the Rockwell Automation website, the SAB tool guides manufacturers through the safety system design process by providing options for layout, safety performance level (PL) analysis based on ISO 13849-1 using IFA’s SISTEMA (Safety Integrity Software Tool for Evaluation of Machine Applications), and product selection using Allen-Bradley safety automation products.
According to Sal Spada, research director, ARC Advisory Group, their recent 2016 global market research outlook study on machinery safety found Rockwell Automation to be the leading global supplier of safeguarding solutions. Spada adds that Rockwell Automation continues to support this leading market position with the launch of new safety tools such as the Safety Automation Builder tool that provides safety system design guidance using a broad safety automation portfolio, giving customers a single trusted source for the safety expertise they need.
Traditionally, engineers needed to go through an extensive process of printing machinery layout drawings, drawing hard and movable guarding, identifying potentially hazardous access points and required safety functions, selecting safety input, output and logic devices, and calculating the achieved PL for the safety related control system, resulting in a handwritten list of required materials and safety calculations that engineers had to transfer into documents, drawings and reports.
The SAB software automates the safety selection process to help speed system design and minimise human error, enabling users to import an image of machinery, and answer questions using a drop-down menu and help screens to identify and select the necessary safeguards. The software then organises all product selections, generates a bill of materials, and compiles necessary data to populate SISTEMA.
SISTEMA indicates the attained PL of the safety system using ISO 13849-1 through an automatic calculation. As part of the process, users also receive a SISTEMA project file.
The SAB software can be downloaded from the Rockwell Automation website, and also requires that users download and run SISTEMA.
Rockwell Automation has also released new Safety Functions, which are pre-engineered design documents containing detailed information for each safeguarding method, including specific functionality, PL and required input, logic and output components to support the SAB tool. After going through the SAB process, users can select the appropriate Safety Function needed for a particular machine and combine it with the bill of materials to design a complete safety system.
Each function in Safety Functions includes a safety relay (Allen-Bradley Guardmaster safety relay) version and a programmable safety controller (Allen-Bradley GuardLogix programmable automation controller) version for the safety logic element.