SOURCE: Pilz Automation Safety L.P.

Pilz Automation Safety L.P.

March 09, 2010 16:59 ET

Keeping It Safe

Pilz Automation Safety L.P. Keeps an Eye on Robots in the Ford Display

CANTON, MI--(Marketwire - March 9, 2010) -  This year Ford kicked it up a notch at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The exhibit was 48% larger than last year with 24 interactive displays, including: Active Park Assist Technology, the Control Blade Challenge and touch-screen digital displays. With all of the excitement in the booth, the highlight of the show was the EcoBoost Engine display. The center of attention, ABB robots "Eco" and "Boost" showed off the components of Ford's new engine technology. EcoBoost can deliver up to 20 percent better fuel economy, 15 percent lower CO2 emissions, and improved driving performance when compared to larger displacement engines. The two robots from Cleveland Stamping Plant #1 took on lives of their own while interacting with the audience and product specialists. How was visitor safety ensured? Pilz Automation Safety L.P. provided the display with SafetyEYE™, nicknamed "eyes in the sky" to ensure nothing entered the area over the cell. The robot control ran with an ATI tool changer end effector safety monitored by PSS3000 to pick up parts and engines to present them to the audience. The Pilz PSS3000 was connected to the I/O proximity switches which sensed the part position to provide safe handling of the parts. The Pilz PLC was utilized as the main controller for both safe and standard functions controlling and ensuring all safety device functions. PITmode and PSENslock from Pilz were integrated into the PSS3000 to provide access control to the cell doors. PITmode was utilized as a multifunction HMI for switching between manual and automatic modes, resetting errors, starting up robots and request to enter and lock/unlock the gate. The PITmode is an operating mode selector switch which provides two functions in one unit, the selection of operating mode and authorization control for machine access. The PITmode was the result of a joint effort with Ford Powertrain Engineers and Pilz Development. "In the real world of a plant SafetyEYE™ could have eliminated hard guarding, in this case the glass fencing. ABB's Safe Motion technology in conjunction with SafetyEYE™ provides a comprehensive robot cell that eliminates the use of standard guarding. This is really a great partnership for all parties involved," said Rick Pryce, business development manager for Pilz Automation Safety L.P.

For more information about Pilz Automation Safety L.P. or any of the products used in the display visit