Configuration tool aims to simplify machinery safety-system design

17 April 2013

Rockwell Automation has released 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 is said to help 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.
Sal Spada, research director, ARC Advisory Group, said: “Our recent 2016 global market research outlook study on machinery safety found Rockwell Automation to be the leading global supplier of safeguarding solutions. Rockwell Automation continues to support this leading market position with the launch of new safety tools. Its new Safety Automation Builder tool provides safety-system design guidance using the world’s broadest safety-automation portfolio, giving customers a single trusted source for the safety expertise they need.”

Traditionally, engineers have needed to go through a 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 results in a list of required materials and safety calculations that need to be transferred into documents, drawings and reports.

The SAB software automates the safety-selection process to help speed system design and minimise human error. Users can 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 from:

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