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Cost Savings, Reduced Risk and the Safe System Approach for Packaging

by Jason Ayers
Pilz Automation Safety L.P.

Today’s packaging machines are extremely complex and contain several fast moving components that create hazardous conditions for machine operators. With this in mind, we in the engineering community must design and build these systems with safety as our primary goal. Safety, however, can be an extremely difficult issue to tackle if you don’t have the proper knowledge to address it throughout the packaging machine and the plant’s life cycle. 
 
The burning question I’m always asked: “How do I achieve safety in my packaging machines by reducing the possibility of harm to my operators and still keep costs in check?” The answer is very simple – A company must deploy an upfront strategy that tackles these issues from a “Safe System Approach”. This step back approach is a failsafe method to ensure that all required preventative safety measures are incorporated into both new and existing machinery. In this white paper, we are going to outline the two phases that are essential to implementing the “Safe System Approach”, safety services and safety products.
 
By utilizing services and solutions together, a system solution approach is delineated. Each product and service can be defined individually, but savings, productivity and safety can be achieved in greater amounts by using services and products collectively. It is important to identify a services vendor who is thorough, credible, and trustworthy. It is equally important to use products that meet the highest demands of packaging machines and the industry. 
 
Why is a “Safe System Approach” necessary? The first and most important reason is the safety of the operator. Safe automation ensures that the most valuable asset of any company – its employees – can work safely and free from injury while remaining focused on the job they are doing. The second reason for instituting a “Safe System Approach” is to avoid production downtime and to enhance efficiencies, profitability and consistency in production cycles. 
 
Why should the packaging industry be concerned with this? We are experiencing requests for shorter innovation cycles and more pressure from the competition. Customers are demanding more flexibility from their new and/or existing machines. This flexibility need requires production to be switched from one product to another with minimal lead-time. This reality has driven the industry to look into alternative methodologies in order to produce their product at faster rates. Automation has provided the packaging industry this flexibility. However, an increase in automation requires the need for more robust safety systems to monitor and control this aspect. These safety systems require controllers and motion control solutions to allow processes to run quickly and precisely to increase the throughput of products. 
 
Unfortunately, these systems can introduce a significant level of safety complexity into your application. The question then becomes: “How do I improve my level of safety with added automation?” I will address this question and others including, how to keep plants, machines, and most importantly humans safe. I will also explain how you can actually save money doing this.

To help illustrate a solid and sustainable solution to the current pressures the packaging industry is under, I will use Pilz, which is widely considered to be a leader in safe automation. I will address what types of services should be involved in a company’s safety goal. I will also address what to look for when purchasing safe automation technology, why these products and services are necessary, and what benefits are easily obtainable. The appendix contains examples of packaging machines and how to make them safe.
 
*I understand that each plant and machine are unique, and that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to safe automation, but I think it is important to give an understandable example to illustrate the importance of safe automation for packaging.

 
Services

Ask yourself and your team:
·    What are the best industry practices, standards and regulations?
·    What are the safety methods that will reduce or eliminate the risks of injury?
·    Are we confident that we are addressing all of the potential hazards and risks?
·    Are we consistently compliant with regulatory requirements?
·    Are our current efforts really the most cost effective?
·    Most importantly – are we able to certify and willing to be the responsible party for the safe operation of man and machine in our plant?
 
If your company is unclear or unable to answer these types of question, then outsourcing your risk is a crucial decision that can’t be postponed or ignored. Many companies have downsized their safety engineering staff or eliminated their safety department entirely. A “Safe System Approach” can benefit your company because a trusted vendor is used in consultation with your team or if you don’t have a team-the vendor can become your team.   
 
I highly recommend companies to enlist a vendor supplied service to manage these types of activities as an experienced consultant can create a complete and individualized package of safety services. Even if you have a full staff, a second opinion can help identify potential risk and may find unique ways to save money in the process.
 
 
Overview of safety solution services for the packaging industry
 
I. Consulting Services
• Plant Assessment                                     • Risk Assessment                              • Safety Concept
• Inspection of Electro Sensitive Protective Equipment (ESPE)

II. Engineering Services
• Safety Design                                            • System Implementation                 • Safety Validation
 
III. Certification Services
• International Compliance Services      • CE Marking
 
IV. Instructional Services
• Training

These types of services will result in immediate and long-term cost savings, shorter lead times, increased productivity and the assurance of safety complaint equipment. 

 
I. Consulting Services: Plant Assessment
 
WHAT
In packaging plants, new machinery is often operated side by side with old machinery. New products can require the modification of existing machinery; therefore, driving changes to your safety system. The purpose of this assessment is to evaluate your existing safety plan and determine areas for improvement.

WHY

A structured plant assessment will give you the information you need to make sound safety judgments on compliance and safety factors that impact your packaging facility. Each machine is assessed in a scientific manner using a multi-attribute rating system that establishes the safety requirements and sets priorities for the required changes for each machine.

 
HOW                                                                                                                                                                                            
Pilz conducts an on-site examination that will include:
·    Operating machine work-flow analysis through input from maintenance personnel
·    Identification of all safety concerns
·    Primary hazards analysis on individual machines
·    Evaluation of existing risk reduction measures
·    Machinery evaluation to ensure compliance with standards and regulations
·    Safety review of each machine to determine safety upgrades
·    Complete prioritized safety recommendation report
 
 
I. Consulting Services: Inspection of ESPE
 
WHAT
The purpose of this inspection is to identify safety issues introduced by machine modifications, previous bypassing of safety systems or changes in work procedures. This service ensures that Electro Sensitive Protective Equipment (ESPE) such as light curtains have been properly assembled, installed and inspected.
 
 
 
WHY
Many jurisdictions have legal requirements for regular inspections of safety equipment and it is important to be in legal compliance with OSHA, European Directive and other legal bodies. 
 
HOW
Pilz provides a knowledgeable consultant to perform the required tests to verify the functionality and safety structure of the ESPE components. 
 
The experienced Pilz examination includes:

·    Determination of all ESPE components in need of inspection and the limits of the inspection
·    Detect damage or faults through deterioration
·    Recommend how often further inspections should be performed
 
 
I. Consulting Services: Risk Assessment
 
WHAT
Many employees operate or maintain industrial machines that present high levels of risk. When building, retrofitting or interlinking machines, a systematic technical risk assessment provides a structured method to identify hazards and define protective measures that will reduce the degree of potential harm. 
 
WHY

The risk assessment is an important part of the safety process and is reflected in the global trend to obligate machine designers and operators to follow a structured assessment in order to comply with various national and/or international standards and applicable legislations. The risk assessment process is utilized to develop safety concepts and generate safety designs (see below for both). Safety improvements on existing machines can be prioritized and implemented based on a known risk; therefore, extending the working life of the machine. Early identification of hazards on new machines will save time and reduce cost by integration, rather than retrofit, of the appropriate safety measures.

 
HOW
Pilz will take the responsibility of performing a documented physical examination and inspection of a machine, under the guidelines of applicable national and/or international standards.
 
A Pilz Risk Assessment includes:

·          Identification of applicable standards
·          Industry best practices and regulations
·          Statement of machine limits
·          Examination of all hazards throughout the machine
·          Machinery lifecycle phases
·          Estimation and evaluation of risk
·          Risk reduction recommendations


I. Consulting Services: Safety Concept

WHAT
The right safety concept is critical when deploying new hazardous and complex packaging machines for more demanding applications. The safety concept must consider the interaction of machine operators, maintenance personnel and other workers within the machine area. Based on the risk assessment, detailed engineering solutions are proposed to achieve safety through mechanical, electrical and other measures following best industry practice and national or international standards.
 
WHY
Upon the completion of a risk assessment, Pilz safety experts will conduct a review of the machine system, identify areas for improvement and provide additional concepts to ensure compliance with the relevant safety standards and regulations.
 

HOW
The Pilz approach takes into account the following:
·    Industry best practice and national and/or international standards 
·    Work to minimize implementation costs
·    Reduce operator interaction with the machinery
·    Improve machine performance
·    Reduce maintenance requirements

Pilz safety review includes: 
·    Use of fixed and movable guards
·    Implementation of line and machine stopping systems
·    Process for safe removal of electrical and pressurized fluid power systems
·    Detection of workers in hazardous areas
·    Intelligent solutions developed to ensure safety without sacrificing overall plant and machinery performance

 
II. Engineering Services: Safety Design
 
WHAT

When designing new machines or retrofitting existing machines, safe design must be considered at the project’s conception. By instituting upfront technical measures, hazardous operations can be performed safely and with minimum impact on machine complexity, cost and productivity.

 
WHY
Optimum results are achieved when a structured process is used at the design stage. This process should include interpretation of the requirements, generation of detailed designs and planning the stages of system implementation and system validation.
 
HOW
Experts will provide their extensive knowledge at an early stage of machine design. Using Pilz expertise, will thus establish the safest solution for all of your packaging applications.

A structured design approach:
·    Safety requirements specification
·    Allocation of safety measures to identified hazards
·    Determination of integrity and performance levels
·    Detailed mechanical, electrical, electronic, software and control system design
·    Component selection
·    Design reviews and safety validation

 
II. Engineering Services: System Implementation

 


WHAT
Safety systems are critical elements in capital projects relating to automation and machinery. When integrating individual machines into a production line or upgrading existing machines, the time available for the implementation of safety measures and the integration of control systems is usually limited. Timing is critical and the implementation must be a success. It must be done right the first time.

WHY
Benefits are clear as you bring a system on-line. What is important is to bring to the table a partner who has experience in dealing with the scheduling complexities within the constraints of installing and commissioning systems in busy industrial environments. Quality assurance and reliability combined with hands-on engineering experience are essential prerequisites for the success of your implementation.
 
HOW
Pilz offers customized consulting and engineering services that will cover the entire machinery life cycle.

System implementation includes:
·    Project planning and controlling
·    Selection and procurement of the required components of actuators, sensors and control devices
·    Construction and erection of required mechanical structures
·    Construction and testing of required electrical panels
·    Electrical and control system installation
·    Programming of control and visualization systems
·    System commissioning
 
·    Selection of suppliers and contractors where applicable
·    Training of machine operators and maintenance personnel
 
 
II. Engineering Services: Safety Validation

WHAT
When installing, retrofitting, modifying or upgrading machinery, it is important that the equipment is operating in compliance with the safety, regulatory and government standards throughout its production life.
 

WHY

Compliance of your risk mitigation measures and the overall safety of your plant are essential.
 
HOW
In order to ensure the safety measures were implemented correctly you need a structured method for inspecting and confirming that the safety elements of your system are functioning properly.

Pilz utilizes a thorough checklist to validate implemented safety elements:
·    Assessment of existing design versus safety requirements
·    Evaluation of the components selected
·    Verify the installation of sensors, actuators and wiring configuration
·    Test of safety-related software and hardware functions
·    Function test and fault simulation
·    Test report detailing validation results
 
 

III. Certification Services: International Compliance
 
WHAT
Users and exporters of machines are faced with complex compliance and regulatory requirements when they put machinery into service or move machinery from one country to another. A machine that fully complies with the standards and regulations from one country may not conform to the national rules of another country. 
 
WHY
While ISO – International Organization for Standardization and IEC – International Electrotechnical Commission prepare and publish standards, many countries, states and regions require compliance to local state or national standards. Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, USA and all other major economic regions have mandated standards or regulations requiring machine builders to conduct risk assessments on machinery and implement risk reduction by design, safeguarding or other measures. Structured conformance assessment with documentary evidence through maintenance of the required technical files is a prerequisite.
 
HOW
Pilz will partner with your compliance and engineering teams and will conduct the required assessment procedures and engineer the necessary compliance strategies to conform to the appropriate ISO, IEC ANSI and/or other standards. They will also, interpret the OSHA in the USA, and European work-place safety directives and regulations for the target jurisdiction and will establish which Occupational Safety and Health regulations apply.

Pilz will provide:

·    Guidance on regulatory requirements when entering new markets
·    Coordination of compliance assessment and test activities
·    Determination and application of the relevant standards and regulations
·    Liaison with the local regulatory bodies
 
 
III. Certification Services: CE Marking
 
WHAT
The CE mark is commonly referred to as the machine “Passport to Europe”.
Machinery that is manufactured in the EU, or imported from non-EU countries is required to have the CE Marking stamp, when put into service in the European markets. The CE mark declares that your machine complies with the requirements of all relevant EU directives. Products that bear the CE mark may be imported and sold without restriction from national regulations.
 

WHY
Using a vendor can aid tremendously in risk mitigation. A CE marking company should act as your authorized representative and take responsibility for the conformance procedures for the CE mark. The CE marking company will manage the compliance and safety of individual machines and/or production lines in this evolving environment.
 
 
HOW
Pilz manages the activities and processes of the necessary compliance strategies, safety design and documentation.

Activities include:

·    Certification project management
·    Determination and application of the relevant directives and standards
·    Hazard analysis and risk assessment
·    Creation of a safety concept
·    Generation of related of safety design
·    Evaluation of compliance and recommendations
·    Conduction required checks, test and measurements
·    Compiling the legally required documents, including the technical construction file
·    Document archiving and management

 
IV. Instructional Services Training

WHAT
In today’s evolving packaging industry it is imperative that you maintain the competency of safety systems, know how to operate your machines safety, remain current on the standards and seek new state of the art products that will enable you to cut costs, improve safety, minimize downtime and maintain a high level of productivity.
 
WHY
Save time and money by training your employees on the latest safety practices, standards and regulations. With up to the minute training, your employees will perform day-to-day operations safely.
 
HOW
Pilz remains proficient on new and/or changing standards, regulations, safety products and machine and system operation.

Pilz training programs include:
• General safety              • Standards and regulations – national and international
• Products                         • Machine and System operation

 
Safety Services Summary
 
As discussed, due to cost constraints many companies have eliminated their safety department personnel and do not have the capability or know how to ensure their machines are safe and compliant. Additionally, some in the packaging industry simply need an outside vendor to provide an additional set of ‘eyes and ears.’


Products
 
Safety Products
 
Relays and other ESPE equipment are standard items for packaging plant safety. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) are increasingly adding new and advanced automation into their packaging machines to increase their productivity. However, an increase in automation requires the need for more robust safety systems to monitor and control motion. Unfortunately, these systems can introduce a significant level of safety complexity into your application and will require the use of state of the art motion control products. 
 
In this portion of the white paper, I will outline some common products used in keeping packaging lines and machines safe, what features to look for when buying them and give an example of one. Next, I will give two brief application stories. The appendix of this paper will explain how to make some generic packaging machines safe. 
 
Common Products
 
Gate switches, relays and other ESPE equipment are standard items for packaging plant safety. 
 
Like you, I have a checklist in mind when purchasing equipment. Below, I give a combination of checklists, descriptions and what to look for when incorporating an important component, motion, into your system.
 
Relays
 
Selectable operating modes
·    With or without detection of shorts across contacts
·    Timer functions: delay-on energization, delay-on de-energization, pulsing

Selectable reset modes
·    Automatic or manual reset
·    Monitored reset
·    Reset with start-up test
Selectable time delay
·    Time x Factor = 0...300s

Lockable cover
·    Protects the setting elements
·    Can be sealed to protect against manipulation and unauthorized access
Meaningful diagnostics
·    6 LEDs
·    Display switch and fault status: Power In1, In2, Out, Reset, Fault
·    No external measuring devices required for diagnostics
Contact expansion via plug-in connection
·    No wiring involved
·    No faulty wiring
·    Visible
·    Easy operation
Rapid assembly on to top hat rail
·    Spring clips integrated within the housing
·    Clips on and off, quickly and simply
·    No need for tools
Base units should have a semiconductor output
·    Signal to the controller
·    Relay output status


Some features to look for
·    Screwless terminal technology
·    Rapid wiring and secure hold through the cage clamp
·    The opening for the two terminal chambers may be separate or joint
·    Wire may be removed individually
 

 
 
Multi configurable control system
 
For cost savings and wiring, sometimes it makes sense to stop adding relays and go to a multi configurable control system. It can mean serious cost savings when you upgrade to a ‘multi’.
When purchasing this look for the following traits:
·    Certified worldwide
·    Small in size
·    It can cover applications of four safety functions and above
·    One system to cover safety-related and standard control functions
·    Ability to print configuration instead of drawing
·    Simple wiring for short commissioning times
·    Chip card for data transfer/ easy copy function
 
Non-contact coded safety switch
 
On a non-contact coded safety switch look for the following:
·    Long switching distance
·    Make sure the enable from the safety device is only triggered if the actuating element is within the switch’s response range and code number on the actuator matches that of the switch (key lock principle).
 
Non-contact magnetic safety switch
 
For the packaging industry a checklist of this type of safety equipment should include the following:
·          A switch that is resistant to heavy soiling
·          One that can meet strict hygiene requirements
·          One where the enable is triggered when the actuating element is within the switch’s response range and the code on the actuator matches that of the switch
This type of switch is helpful because they are insensitive to spring-back or swinging from safety gates. This means they are particularly suitable for use on guards that are not aligned precisely. 
Additionally, they can be used where risk analysis specifies a high category. 
 
Light curtains
 
When reviewing light guard companies and products look for the following:
·          A company that offers a full range from finger light curtains to stand sizes 
·          Ones that are simple and quick to deploy-so look for an integral alignment guide and compact dimensions
·          Look to save costs by using light curtains that have integral functions such as muting, blanking and cascading
Optoelectronic protection devices are used to safeguard danger points and danger zones where the production process requires active intervention.  
 
Guide to Motion
 
Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) are increasingly adding new and advanced automation into their packaging machines to increase their productivity. However, an increase in automation requires the need for more robust safety systems to monitor and control the motion. Unfortunately, these systems can introduce a significant level of safety complexity into your application and will require the use of state of the art motion control products. During my many years of experience in engineering I have compiled a check list of what to look for when building motion into the machine.
 

What to look for when adding motion into your packaging system

Motion control product selection criteria:
·   Synchronization of a wide range of decentralized drives
·   Motion control to manage the movement of highly dynamic drives
·   Camshafts for a wide range of additional functions
·   Manufacturing at consistent quality and low cost
·   Quick to set up and maximum flexibility
·   Automatic adjustment to product variances
·   Handling and robotics as an integral part of a complete automation solution
Motion control products should include:
·   PLC to control the machine
·   Motion control for optimum movement management on decentralized drives
·   Individual safety solution tailored to your needs
·   Universal, integrated software and tools
 
Packaging specific applications, motion control components should include:
·   Open for individual requirements
·   Join together safety and standard
·   Have safety integrated within the drive
·   Make sure that every law of motion is available
·   Use real or virtual master axes
·   Tools adapted to suit the task of the packaging machine
 
Control solution should also be platform-independent:
·   Integrated soft PLC in accordance with IEC 61131-2
·   Fast scan time from < 50us for 1000 instructions
·   No adjustments required to change platform
·   All of the automation in one project
·   Support for modular structures
·   Large selection of field buses
·   Extensive libraries
·   Motion control
·   Interpolation
·   OPC Server
Comprehensive motion control functionality should include:
·   Positioning (incl. shock-free)
·   Virtual main shaft
·   Cam synchronization
·   Integral “flexible cam”
·   Register control
·   Web tension control
·   Linear and circular interpolation
·   Electronic camshaft
·   Safe motion within the drive
 
 








































Now let’s review two successful examples of incorporating Pilz motion safety products into customer’s machinery and how their products achieved the “Safe System Approach”.
 
Semi-automatic vacuum – packing machine
 
Sprinter is the name of the latest development from Komet, manufacturer of semi and fully automatic vacuum packaging machines. They provide an airtight seal for everything that needs to be kept fresh and preserved. Even in the butchers’ industry there appears to be a trend away from the skilled producer and towards industrial production; customers increasingly ask for ready-packed goods, so Komet is increasingly focusing on semi and fully automatic machinery. Flexible and quick to convert, they can pack articles in up to eight parallel trays, depending on the packaged product and the size, with or without automatic in-feed. Even non-food articles can be packaged and sealed efficiently using automated packaging machines.
 
“Safe System Approach” utilizing Pilz safety products designed for maximum compatibility: sensor technology, evaluation device and visualization.
 
On the Sprinter, the multifunctional safety system PNOZmulti configures simpler, safer interaction between man and machine. The safety system has a modular structure so it can be used flexibly to suit the application. Instead of wiring, the user configures the functions needed simply, in a configuration tool. This saves time, space and money because there is no longer any complex individual wiring and all the safety-related functions are located in one housing.
 
Magnetic safety switches, PSENmag, monitor the mobile protective hood over the sealing station, the longitudinal and transverse cutters, and the lower positions of the lift cylinder plus the security slide on the forming/sealing station. The PNOZmulti also monitors the E-STOP and the enables that control the heaters and valves (pneumatic + hydraulic). The risk of injury from the packaging machine, therefore, is kept to a minimum, both during operation and in setup mode. “With PNOZmulti the machine has a flexible safety concept which is really easy to adapt to our requirements. Now the infeed area has a three-up arrangement, so assembly is quicker and easier, plus the machine is more productive“, says Harald Janke, Technical Manager at Komet, when summarizing the benefits.
 
Automating a confectionery packaging machine
 
Chocolate products place heavy demands on packaging machine manufacturers. Speed and flexibility need to be combined with gentle handling. The Italian company Fima specializes in the packaging of confectionery products. Machines have to “stay in time” and the individual modules need to be perfectly synchronized.
 
Ever decreasing loads, frequent product changes and rapid time-to-market – these are the challenges that chocolate product manufacturers face. Fima, which is based in Bologna, Italy, belongs to the OPM Group and is famous for its innovative packaging machines, predominantly for the confectionery industry.
 
Modular concept for packaging chocolates

Fima’s “Sweet Magic HF” (Hollow Figures) wrapping machine can handle several different wrapping styles for chocolate pralines – from envelope style to single and double twist wrapping, through to hollow figure wrapping. The machine has a belt conveyor with ready-made moulds corresponding to the product to be wrapped; it also has an integrated, automatic product in-feed.
Like all Fima’s machines it has a modular design, in other words, it can be broken down into functional blocks, made up of individual modules or electromechanical components:

·    The “in-feed” module consists of a belt conveyor containing product-specific moulds, which feeds the products on to the turntable
·    Paper handling: Electromechanical component to unwind, cut and position the foil on the product
·    Turntable: Carousel with eight stations, which divides the folding processes into individual steps. Each folding step is undertaken by a specific wrapping module
·    Wrapping module: Each of these modules performs a specific wrapping step
·    Belt module: Used for products that have additional braiding
·    Pick and place: Feeds the machine. The products are picked from a transport plate and placed on the belt conveyor. The products are picked up using suction caps
 
Special configuration features

The various modules are easily adaptable to rapid format change. This is also an advantage for the machine’s maintenance and cleaning requirements, particularly because the modules are self-supporting. In a format or a product change, the operator only has to exchange the wrapping module for the respective packaging type, the product-specific belt conveyor and the turntable. The remaining adjustments for the new format are then made automatically after switching to the new recipe. All the servo motors are linked to the movement of the turntable via electrical cams. The cams are defined via the stored recipes, and all the machine’s movements are finely coordinated in the process. All the adjustments for new products result from the recipe selection made on the operator terminal. The pick-and-place station is not a separate part of the machine, as is often the case, but receives the data from the same recipe data set. This means it’s possible to undergo a complete format or product change in around 30 minutes, including all the mechanical modifications. Particular attention was paid to special functions on the machine, to counteract material waste. Thanks to the “No product, no packing material” function, the wrapping material is only unwound and drawn into the machine when the product is actually present.
 
“Safe System Approach” utilizing Pilz high-level performance safety products

The machine’s flexibility was achieved thanks to the versatility of the motion control system PMCprimo Drive, which is employed in these machines. This enables the operator to optimize the synchronization of the individual axes at any time. The “Sweet Magic HF” uses five Pilz servo motors, which are automated via the drive-integrated control system PMCprimo Drive. As no space is required for a separate controller, it’s also possible to save space in the control cabinet. With the development of the PMCprimo Drive it was finally possible to meet the various requirements of the packaging machine manufacturers. Fima in particular was able to increase the efficiency of its machines demonstrably. Optimum packaging is achieved thanks to the ability to detect the exact position of both the product and the wrapping material. Also, the control system can react quickly to changes by optimizing a series of pre-defined parameters.
 
Another feature of the control system that Fima values very highly is the ability to use all the digital outputs on the PMCprimo Drive as digital cams. This means that the status of the outputs depends on the respective axis position. So fast reaction times are guaranteed and the solenoid valves in the machine are reliably controlled.
 
Now let’s review several different packaging machine applications and offer the Pilz product solutions to ensure safety in each of these applications.
 
 
Products Summary
 
After reviewing the Pilz line of products, speaking with them and through my own experience with them it is clear that choosing the right products for your machinery is critical. These choices now involve more than light curtains and relays-it means taking a long look at motion. Granted there are times when simply adding light curtains and relays will suffice, it is important to recognize that robots are no longer used just for palletizing, but increasingly perform functions that used to be performed manually. Powerful CNC controllers and motion control solutions mean that processes run quickly and precisely, increasing the throughput of products. Internationality also plays a big role. Groups operating internationally often use interlinked plants which they continually modify and extend to adapt to the products in which they also use in different countries.
 
Today’s safety in the packaging industry is built mainly around the drive. Safe motion, i.e. drive integrated safety, provides new solutions. For example, it's possible to let the machine run slower, without stopping the process. Not only does this increase performance, it also opens up a whole new range of opportunities for cooperation between man and machine.
 
 
Packaging Safety Products Summary
 
Pilz offers a variety of state of the art safety products that enable you to integrate motion within your packaging machine safely and compliant with EN 954-1 and all other standards and regulations. In addition, the Pilz products already conform to the new Machinery Directive.


“Safe System Approach” Summary
 
Today’s packaging machine systems have become more complex than ever before and require new state of the art and flexible motion safety products that will ensure the safe operation of your machinery. Managing safety can be a difficult task to a company that isn’t current on the packaging industries national and/or international standards and regulations or if they just don’t have the knowledge necessary for a safe approach.
 
Using Pilz expert safety services and products to implement your “Safe System Approach” will provide your company with countless benefits. Your expert safety plan will result in a safety system complexity reduction, reduction production of downtime due to faster diagnostics and thereby guarantee efficient, profitable and consistent production cycles. These benefits are key when addressing shorter innovation cycles, increasing pressure from the competition and the demand more flexibility from their new and/or existing machines.
 
 
Summary
 
This paper has covered many topics regarding safe automation in the packaging industry. I have reviewed what I term the ‘Safe System’ approach to safe automation. It means to take a look at all phases of your packaging plant. Review the plant layout, the line, the machine and start reviewing all of this as early as possible. Find a vendor who will look at your machine plans before you start making them, have a second set of eyes come in and inspect the machines you have running and the ones you plan to retrofit. Compliance is also an area that an outside vendor can help with. As regulations change you need a partner who specializes in this type of service. I covered common products the packaging industry uses and what to look for in these products. I discussed the concept of incorporating motion into safe automation, which is one of the more complex topics in packaging today.
 
The benefits of this ‘safe system’ approach are numerous, but most importantly they are:

·    Safety of man-your most valuable resource are your people
·    Mitigation of risk-let someone else carry the burden of international compliance for you
·    Safety of machine-keep your machines in working order
·    Cost savings-less downtime through use of motion, and your current system may be costing you more money than you think-the advances in safe automation have been numerous in recent years
 
Finally, when asked for a safe automation vendor I respond that there is a company whose services are excellent, products are excellent and whose reputation is second to none is Pilz. There is a reason they are the World Leader in Safe Automation. 
 
Disclaimer:
Pilz is a global company, as such, not all standards and information will be applicable worldwide. Please check with your local Pilz office to ensure your factory and/or machines meet local standards.



For more information regarding the expert safety services
and state of the art products of Pilz Automation Safety L.P.
 
Contact:
7150 Commerce Boulevard
Canton, MI 48187
734-354-0272
 

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