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Safety monitoring system allows rapid restarts

18 October, 2022

Banner Engineering has developed a system that makes it easier to obtain diagnostic data from machine safety devices. The In-Series Diagnostics (ISD) system allows users to troubleshoot safety systems, prevent faults and cut downtime by returning their installations to normal operation rapidly after a trip. The system can be used with standard safety devices or dedicated ISD devices.

The system is designed to overcome the problems usually associated with obtaining diagnostics from devices such as gate interlocks and emergency-stop buttons, which are typically linked in long serial chains. While this arrangement cuts costs and simplifies installation, it makes it difficult to identify which e-stop has been pushed, or which door has been opened, because multiple devices are connected to a single input. An alternative is to wire each individual point back to an input, but this is costly in terms of wiring and inputs.

The In-Series Diagnostics (ISD) system is designed to eliminate these issues. Up to 32 ISD-compatible devices – such as safety switches and e-stops – are daisy-chained together using a four-wire serial connection. The status of each device is monitored using either a safety controller with built-in ISD, or an external ISD module. This operates separately from the safety function.

As well as an activated/not activated status, each ISD device provides extra information, including a unique identifier, internal temperature and voltage readings, and device-specific details such as alignment and the distance between the sensor and actuator of a safety switch. If a device is close to its tripping point – caused, for example, by a door sagging on its hinges – the system will send an alarm, allowing remedial action to be taken before a nuisance trip occurs.

When a device trips, its location is identified and can be displayed via an HMI, indicator lights or other means such as a smartphone app, or by turning the machine lighting red near the activated device. This can guide an operator rapidly to the device, allowing the machine to be restarted with minimum downtime.

Devices available with built-in ISD capabilities include RFID safety switches and illuminated e-stops. The devices achieve Cat 4, PL e, or SIL CL 3 safety ratings.

The In-Series Diagnostics system can monitor dedicated ISD devices and standard safety devices liked via an ISD Connect device (shown on the left of the diagram)

There is also a device called ISD Connect that links standard emergency-stop buttons or safe mechanical switch contacts – such as those on safety locking switches – to an ISD chain, thus extending the diagnostic functions to standard safety devices.

The ISD controller can connect to IO-Link or other bus systems and edge devices, allowing the diagnostic data to be sent to cloud-based OEE systems, whch can analyse the data to highlight areas where performance improvements could be made.

The ISD system is available in the UK from Turck Banner.

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