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Rockwell Automation: Tools simplify machinery safety-system design

Rockwell Automation announces the release of two new tools to help machine and equipment builders (OEMs), and manufacturers save time when designing machinery safety systems.
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The 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.

The SAB tool is available as a free download from the Rockwell Automation website. It 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. 

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. This resulted 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 minimize human error. With the SAB tool, users 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 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 ISO 13849-1 through an automatic calculation. As part of the process, users also receive a SISTEMA project file.

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The SAB software can be downloaded on the Rockwell Automation website, and also requires that users download and run SISTEMA.

To support the SAB tool, 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. These documents also include parts lists, electrical drawings, a SISTEMA project file, and verification and validation plans. 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.

Rockwell Automation is launching a broad range of Safety Functions in three phases; the first six are now available. Each function 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.

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