Man and machine shaking hands – this is the image accompanying the increasingly digital networks in automation. However, in view of ever more complex technology and systems, it's important to note that there are still serious issues in the context of interaction between man and machine.
“Safety has long been a global focus associated with steadily expanding and stricter standards. If nothing else, the introduction of Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC has added a new dynamic to the topic,” says Michael Matthesius, Head of Global Industry Management Machinery. “Weidmüller therefore attaches great importance to safety technology and creates future-oriented solutions which focus both on
Modern automation requires modern safety solutions
safety and economic viability – and in this context u-remote is an excellent example.”
As much safety as necessary, as little downtime as possible
Safe operation combined with maximum performance levels is one of the main objectives in machinery and factory automation. However, in striving for safety, downtime also has to be kept as low as possible.
“An example that demonstrates this is multi-stage filling processes. Here, safety features such as emergency stops or light barriers on conveyor belts are essential. However, as automated operations are synchronised to the second, the tiniest disturbance to the rhythm could bring the whole production line to a halt,” explains Product Manager Andreas Hoffmann. “In the event of a fault or maintenance, we have made exact status analyses and a fast restarting process u-remote's highest priority.”
Controlling complex systems safely and flexibly
Using u-remote’s safe digital I/O modules for PROFIsafe and Fail Safe over EtherCAT gives plant operators a great deal of flexibility. Modern fieldbus technology allows decentralised safety equipment to be networked into an interconnected, coordinated safety system. As required, the selective disconnection of individual components
The safe digital I/O modules contain many safety functions in a very slim unit making them ideal for distributed architectures where space is at a premium
depending on defined conditions can be programmed such that, in the case of a fault or maintenance, all production does not have to come to a halt.
u-remote also offers safe power-feed modules for safe disconnection when using standard-PLC and standard-I/O modules. With this fully integrated solution and in contrast to solutions with additional safety relays, the plant operator benefits from complete status information on inputs and outputs.
“Modern automation requires modern safety solutions,” summarises Mr Matthesius. “Thanks to its integrated protection, u-remote supports the safe man-machine interface and paves the way to ever more intelligent networked systems.”
You might also be interested in:
Web special with all information about u-remote, Weidmüller's remote I/O system in IP 20
Background article on u-remote's safe power-feed modules
Published in April 2015