Pilz launches new automation system

28 April 2009

This new hardware and software platform, called the PSS4000, brings Pilz into the world of integrated logic, motion, and safety. The system was built from the ground up to incorporate all these control features in a combined architecture to reduce the amount of engineering work needed to commission the system.

At Hannover Messe this year, Pilz moved its stand to a new location in Hall 14, to reflect a changed outlook of the company: it doesn’t want to be seen as a supplier of components, especially safety components, but rather a supplier of complete systems that can handle all the facets of modern automated machine.

To this end, it has launched phase one of its new automation system, the PSS4000. It includes logic, motion control, safety, diagnostics, and visualisation, and software to pull it all together so engineers don’t have to work at configuring separate systems and then integrating them together. It is, as they like to say, a complete solution.

Such a large scale project can’t be done all at once, explains Markus Schlögl, but at the Hannover Messe launch it is ready for control system applications and integrated safety systems. Motion control will be added in 2010, and later phase three, visualisation, will come in 2011.

Symbolic addressing
An outstanding feature of the new system is the software platform PAS4000 (Pilz Automation Suite). It enables users to, as Mr. Schlögl says, “retain a centralised perspective of decentralised, distributed control structures.”

The software offers IEC61131-3 programming languages and Pilz has further developed the configuration tool for the PNOZmulti safety system.

Mr. Schlögl calls it “component-oriented programming.” Tested software blocks for common functions are available in a library, which can be expanded, even with the user’s own components. This gives the benefit of high reusability of pre-defined functions which leads to reduced programming and engineering work.

With PAS4000, standard control functions and, for the first time safety functions as well, can be created and managed symbolically. This mapping will be extended to the hardware at a later stage. All SafetyNET p devices will have direct access to this system-wide mapping table.

The Ethernet-based SafetyNET p is used to network all the control components and transfers safety-related and non-safety-related data, as well as data for diagnostics, visualisation and motion control.

The PSS4000 uses the already developed PSSuniversal I/O system. Head modules in various performance ratings have been developed in PSS4000's first expansion phase; these are available for all safety-related and standard control functions.

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