Free Machine Safety Software

April 2, 2013
The Safety Automation Builder tool from Rockwell Automation is designed to help guide manufacturers through the safety system design process.

As manufacturing became a global game for manufacturers of all sizes—whether they be a large, direct player or smaller concern playing a supply chain role—the regulated safety maze that manufacturers must adapt to has grown increasingly complex. To help ease the process of compliance with these regulations, automation vendors have been stepping up to the plate to help ease the process for manufacturers.

One of the more recent examples of an automation vendor offering a new product to ease the machine safety design process comes from Rockwell Automation and its release of two new tools to help OEMs and manufacturers save time when designing machinery safety systems. 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 a free download from the Rockwell Automation website that reportedly 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. 

According to Rockwell Automation, 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. Users also receive a SISTEMA project file as part of the process.

In addition to the SAB tool, Rockwell Automation has also released 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.

The Safety Functions product works in conjunction with the SAB tool by allowing users, after completing the SAB process, to select the appropriate Safety Function needed for a particular machine and combine it with the bill of materials to design a complete safety system.

Read more about this issue, following the adoption of ISO 13849-1 here.

Watch a video below from Rockwell Automation showing how the SAB tool works.

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