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New configuration tool simplifies machinery safety system design

New configuration tool simplifies machinery safety system design Rockwell Automation has announced the release of a new configuration and design tool to help machinery automation system engineers save time when designing safety systems. The Rockwell Automation Safety Automation Builder (SAB) configuration software helps users navigate the safety-system design process and apply global best practices.

The SAB tool is available as a free download from the Rockwell Automation website. It guides engineers through the safety-system design process by providing options for layout, safety Performance Level (PL) analysis and product selection using Allen-Bradley products. The PL analysis uses IFA's SISTEMA software tool (Safety Integrity Software Tool for Evaluation of Machine Applications) which is based on the globally accepted standard EN ISO 13849-1.

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 Performance Level (PL) for the safety-related control system. This resulted in a 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. With the SAB tool, users import an image of the machinery they wish to safeguard and answer questions using a drop-down menu and help screens to identify and select the necessary safeguards. The software then compiles 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 EN ISO 13849-1 principles through an automatic calculation. As part of the process, users also receive a SISTEMA project file.

The SAB software can be downloaded on the Rockwell Automation website. To get the most from this new tool, users should also download and run SISTEMA for PL calculations and Rockwell Automations Proposal Works software for product selection and bill of material output. Rockwell Automation has also released new Safety Functions, which are pre-engineered design documents containing detailed information for many safeguarding methods, including specific functionality, Performance Level category data and required input, logic and output components. These documents also include parts lists, electrical drawings, a SISTEMA project file, and verification and validation plans.
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