‘Pilz offers complete automation solutions’
Sanjay Kulkarni, Managing Director, Pilz India Pvt Ltd, speaks about the company’s products, technologies and operations in India.
Pilz India Pvt Ltd
Sensors, switches and safety systems, automation systems and software.
A company with over 6 decades of history, what are the main product lines of the Pilz portfolio?
Pilz is a family owned business with head office in Ostfildern near Stuttgart, Germany. Pilz is represented in over 40 countries by subsidiaries and branches in all continents. The objective of Pilz is to automate machines and plants in such a way that the safety of man, machine and environment is always guaranteed. The company has a glorious history of over 60 years as technology leader in safe automation technology. Innovation traditionally plays an important role at Pilz, which is evident from our product range. In fact world’s first emergency stop safety relay was invented by Pilz (Source: Company history and Wikipedia).
Pilz offers complete automation solutions based around its core skill of safety – in everything from the sensor technology to the control systems and actuators. The product range also includes corresponding software tools, diagnostic and visualisation systems as well as machinery safety service and training.
You can find Pilz everywhere and in all sectors including the packaging and automotive sector, robot applications, machine tools plus the wind energy and railway technology. In India, Pilz started operations in the year 2011. Keeping the company’s core values of innovation and customer support intact, Pilz India today has become synonymous with safety in India.
How safe are conventional robots that are still in cages?
If the safeguarding/cages have safety interlocks and have been inspected for the standards that ought to be followed, the conventional robots are considerably safe. Other than this, various measures should be followed for inclusion of escape release in the system, unexpected start of robot and following safety procedures during maintenance services. Overall, no robot can be considered safe unless, it has safety control system, safety sensors and safety actuators.
Collaborative robots are getting popular now. Are there any safety issue here?
Collaborative robots are defined by the task the robot is performing and the space in which task is being performed. Collaboration between human and robot is becoming increasingly important because every workspace must achieve maximum productivity but protection of the operator is of the highest priority. In the recent times, robots have come out of the cages/safeguarded areas and have been equipped with suitable sensors and actuators with which the risk associated with them has come down considerably.
In traditional industrial robot systems, activities that involve the motor skills of humans cannot be automated. The advantage of robots is due to their speed, endurance, force and of course automating repetitive work. There are many methods of human-robot collaboration according to EN ISO 10218-2 and ISO/TS 15066 which assure safety while working with cobots like safety rated monitored stop, hand guiding, speed and distance monitoring, power and force limiting, etc. If we incorporate these points while designing robots, cobots can be considerably safe.
Pilz developed the automation system PSS 4000 as a solution to overcome certain issues with PLCs, especially distribution of controls. Is this compatible with all automation protocols?
Yes, it is. PSS 4000 is compatible to common Fieldbus systems and communication interfaces. At Pilz we believe in designing modular and flexible systems and PSS 4000 is meant to “Simplify Automation”
What are the advantages of the PAS4000 software suite?
The software platform PAS4000 makes configuration and programming of PSS 4000 simple. The PAS 4000 comprises several editors for PLC programming and configuration as well as software blocks. The comprehensive library of automation and failsafe blocks, which can be freely configured and logically linked as inputs and outputs, enables high level of reusability. Moreover, the editors are classified by TUV Sud and LVL which means that the PLC programming meet the requirements for creating safety related user software. With PAS 4000, projects can be managed simply and clearly. Additionally, PAS 4000 contains a comprehensive language pack, which means they can be used globally.
How long has the company been operating in India? What changes have you witnessed during this period in the manufacturing sector in India?
Pilz India started its operation in 2011 in India, however, within short span of its inception Pilz India established its name as synonym for safety. For the past 6 years after the establishment, Pilz has extensively worked towards providing the most reliable, economic and innovative safety solution for Indian industry.
We have definitely witnessed positive growth in Indian industry. Our industry is gradually becoming conscious about safety of man as well as machine. They want to make good quality products, which sets them apart in the competitive market. Companies want to minimise accidents and maximise production.
With the “Make in India” initiative, companies aim to build best in class manufacturing and infrastructure in the country. We appreciate this positive growth and look forward to be “partner in safety” to the manufacturing units across nation.
Do you have manufacturing activity in India or it is just a marketing/servicing operation? How cost-competitive are these products?
Pilz operates as 100% subsidiary of Pilz GmbH & KG in India with manufacturing units in Germany and Switzerland.
Pilz has diverse product portfolio with which we can provide solution to all the safety automation requirements. Our solutions are both innovative and economical which help customers achieve safety requirements depending on their application. For the life expectancy, ease of operation, safety standards achieved and the quality of products, Pilz definitely has most cost competitive products.
What are the company's achievements? Especially in terms of breakthrough product launches?
The biggest achievement by Pilz India is the safety awareness that we have been able to create in the market since our establishment. Today, the customers know the concept of machinery safety, safety requirements and accident liabilities. We have been able to reinforce the idea that machinery safety, employee satisfaction and productivity go hand in hand.
There are many innovative products in Pilz product portfolio which have set us apart in the industry. However, with the launch of Certified Machinery Safety Expert (CMSE) qualification and training, we have been able to share our expert safety knowledge with our customers who in turn could administer safety in their respective companies. There are already more than 50 qualified CMSEs in India who have extensive experience in the field of machinery safety and are recognised as a leader in safety at their workplace.
Filler after the Interview is over (Last para or sentences can be dropped)
Pressure-Sensitive Safety Mat
The pressure-sensitive safety mat PSENmat from Pilz combines safe area monitoring with plant and machine operation – "virtual" control.
With PSENmat, Pilz is now introducing its own pressure-sensitive safety mat, developed in-house: A world first is the integrated position detection that provides the operator with a control function – similar to a virtual button. PSENmat thereby combines safe area monitoring with plant and machine operation in one sensor. It enables totally new machine control concepts.
The Pilz PSENmat offers safe area monitoring in combination with a standard control function; in practice the switch functionality can be defined virtually. A separate switch is therefore redundant. This dynamic switch design enables a flexible configuration, which saves space and money. Integrated OSSD outputs ensure additional flexibility: As a result, the cabling can not only be reduced but the PSENmat is also easily connectible to any evaluation device.
Beyond the individual control concepts, the pressure-sensitive safety provides optimum protection against access by people in accordance with the standard for pressure-sensitive safety mats, EN ISO 13856-1. PSENmat decelerates or stops the machine when the danger zone is accessed (access protection). With applications with poor visibility, there is also protection in the event of encroachment behind (protection against encroachment behind). PSENmat offers safety up to SIL 2 of EN ISO 61508 or safety level PL d of EN 13849. The very fast reaction time of ≤ 25 ms also increases safety. Larger applications can also be implemented with little additional work: Up to 22 mats can be connected in series, considerably reducing the cabling work. Furthermore, the robust pressure-sensitive safety mat, which is suitable for high mechanical load, is designed in accordance with protection type IP67 and can be used in ambient temperatures of 0 °C to +55 °C. So PSENmat ensures increased safety even in rugged environments.