The Zoned Safety concept simplifies the design of a redundant pneumatic safety circuit while meeting the requirements of the Machinery Directive 2006/42 / EC and the ISO 13849-1 standard. The new ability to easily and cost-effectively design several independent safety circuits into a single pneumatic valve system can reduce the number of safety components by up to 35%, optimize the use of safety networks and require less piping.
Manufacturers in many different industries around the world face the challenge of constantly shrinking party sizes. In the packaging world, for example, production lines now often stop for manual charging 10-30 times per shift, which each time requires some form of interaction that exposes operators to possible health risks and increases the risk of a safety incident. When changes are made to improve the safety of a machine, operations quickly become more complex or restrictive. This often includes time-consuming procedures to stop machine operation, isolate energy, solve problems and restart processes. In summary: lost production time.
Given that production time is an important KPI in many factories, real-life experience shows that operators can make sure to circumvent safety measures to keep the line moving and meet expectations at the pace of production. If this is the case, a manual operation can cause damage to the equipment, increase unforeseen costs and cause a loss of productivity during shutdowns – and most seriously, injuries and even death.
New strategy compared to traditional strategy
At present, the traditional method uses redundant safety valves. When an operator enters or approaches a machine environment, all movement of equipment stops to ensure safety. Machines using pneumatic components have traditionally used separate safety circuits – with redundant bleed valves – to shut off the air supply, bleed and deactivate operation of the entire machine. This approach wastes energy by losing all compressed air repeatedly throughout the machine, which must then be charged at start-up. Valuable time is taken up when operators wait for systems to restart. In addition, this method adds significant complexity and cost to machine design, manufacture and installation as it requires more components and more complicated controls.
Although the traditional vent solution is sufficient for some applications, in many cases with repeated manual loading, in many cases it is more effective to prevent specific parts of a machine while the rest of the wiring is working. This option has led to the development of a concept called Zoned Safety, introduced by Emerson with the AVENTICS (TM) series of pneumatic valve systems.
Up to three independent electropneumatic safety zones
The concept of Zoned Safety technology simplifies the design of a redundant pneumatic safety circuit and allows an engineer to define and set as many as three independent electropneumatic safety zones. Independent, unsafe sections can occur in a single valve system. So engineers can customize a solution that is both safe and effective. Since the safety zones can be configured to shut off air and power only to the group of valves that control the specific movement of the machine in the vicinity of the operator, there is no need to turn off the entire machine. This ensures the safety of the operator while the rest of the machine continues to produce, even if these safety circuits are activated.
A third smaller component
A major advantage of using a Zoned Safety system as an OEM manufacturer is the ability to simplify the design of a redundant pneumatic safety circuit with a valve system. It replaces several redundant vent valves and other components that give the machine complexity and higher cost. The design of several independent safety circuits in a single pneumatic valve system can reduce the number of safety components by up to 35%. In addition, it optimizes the use of safety networks and requires less piping. The approach also reduces the size of the safety system and enables valuable space in the machine and valve system for other purposes. A zoned safety valve system provides safety in accordance with the Machinery Directive 2006/42 / CE and ISO 13849. In addition, it is an integrated unit containing the necessary output units (SRP / CS) required to comply with Category 3 of ISO 13849-1.
Designing multi-zone safety circuits with a Zoned Safety system often proves to be a simple and user-friendly solution as only the ability to redundantly remove power and pilot air to the safety system valves has been added. For owners of manufacturing equipment and operators, Zoned Safety can simplify and reduce costs while optimizing the safety of their machines. Conclusion: With complete safety, productivity and availability can be improved because the user does not have to turn off the entire machine when safety circuits are activated.
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