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Pilz showcased its latest safety-focused technology in packaging automation at interpack 2023

Photo by Pilz GmbH & Co.

Under the slogan “Flexible automation solutions for safety and security”, the automation company Pilz presented future-proof technologies for greater product safety in packaging automation at interpack 2023. The focus of the stand was on sensor technology, control technology and operating and monitoring solutions and products for primary, secondary and end-of-line packaging, as well as on networks – with the SecurityBridge industrial firewall. The consulting and services package, tailored specifically for the packaging industry, rounds off Pilz’s trade fair presence.

One highlight from Pilz in Düsseldorf: the TÜV SÜD-certified solution for safe monitoring of the cardboard feed on packaging machines. Another thematic focus was intelligent Packaging 4.0 and how digitalisation can be used beneficially for the packaging of food, pharmaceuticals and non-food items. With the Pilz Smart Factory model, visitors was able to experience live how individualised products can be manufactured safely and flexibly.

Secondary packaging – safe cartoning solved simply

One of the intelligent automation concepts from Pilz, which not only makes packaging lines safer but also easier to operate, is safe cardboard feed for the secondary packaging sector. The TÜV SÜD-certified solution is designed for smaller and medium-sized machines and offers two safety controllers to choose from as evaluation units – the small controller PNOZmulti 2 for applications configured via a software tool, and the modular safety relay myPNOZ for batch size 1 infeed solutions. Experts in Düsseldorf provided information on how this flexible and economical safety solution saves time and costs during planning, project configuration and commissioning.

Safety includes access

Industrie 4.0 has arrived in the packaging industry. Intelligent networking and customising are guiding themes, alongside the smart factory. This requires sophisticated automation and safety concepts, which include safety and industrial security, and thus also guarantee product safety. With this in mind, at interpack Pilz presented its solutions for Identification and Access Management (I.A.M.), for implementation of comprehensive access management on packaging machines and in machine pools.

Digital solutions for maintenance and more

As a comprehensive solution for safe access management, I.A.M. also enables safe operating mode selection: in Düsseldorf, the automation company showed the efficient, digital “key-in-pocket” maintenance safeguarding system, which is based on the access permission system PITreader and Pilz control technology. It prevents an unplanned machine restart, while there are still people carrying out maintenance work in the danger zone. Before accessing the plant, one or more authorised operators authenticate themselves using their personal transponders and an individual security ID is assigned, which is stored centrally in the safety controller. This protects the machine from tampering and the operator from unintended restart.

In contrast to a maintenance safeguarding system that uses mechanical keys, operators can enter or leave the plant at any safety gate. As such, “key-in-pocket” offers greater flexibility and saves time during maintenance. Pilz presented additional flexibility for companies and users with the PITreader card unit, which operators with RFID transponders in card or sticker format can use to identify themselves.

Firewall that protects packaging

The networking of IT and OT (operational technology) means that additional protection is required for packaging machines – on bottling plants for example. At the trade fair, Pilz also exhibited the SecurityBridge firewall, which protects control networks from tampering as a result of unauthorised access. It monitors the data traffic between the PC and controller and reports any unauthorised changes to the control project. As a result it protects downstream controllers from network-based attacks and unauthorised access. That guarantees high product safety, which is a requirement particularly in pharmaceutical and food packaging.

Machinery Directive and more: Pilz provides support

For safe, legally compliant machines, machine builders must be aware of the relevant standards and apply them. This includes the requirements of the internationally applicable standard for interlocking devices, EN ISO 14119. Visitors to the Pilz stand were able to find out which other standards manufacturers and operators need to consider. The safe automation expert provides tailor-made support throughout the whole lifecycle of a packaging machine, from risk assessment through to safety validation, including international conformity assessment.

For more information, please visit http://www.pilz.com.