“Safety Is Our Core Competency, And We Share Our Know-How For The Benefit Of The Industry”

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With increased automation, the need for machine and human safety drastically increases. There is an enhanced thrust by plants and manufacturing units on safety & safeguarding techniques. As machines increasingly become complex, they demand next-generation automation solutions. Additionally, with higher complexity and speeds, the need for safety in these machines becomes inevitable, says Amol Bari, Head – Services Business, Pilz India in this interview.

Q. What is the level of safety in Indian manufacturing, and how is the safety manufacturing landscape changing over the years?

Technology is rapidly evolving, and its effect is largely visible in the automation and robotics market, effectively altering how businesses operate. Over the years, we have found an increasing number of Indian organizations adopting or venturing into adopting advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and digitalization of operations. While exploring these next-generation automation solutions, achieving higher productivity, increasing efficiency, and reducing costs is the ulterior motive of organizations. Factories look at enabling real-time monitoring of production data, predictive maintenance solutions, optimizing production processes, and identifying opportunities for process improvements.

However, with these advances, safety, and security have become a prime challenge for machine builders, factories, and plants. The convergence of Information Technology (IT) and Operation Technology (OT) leaves manufacturing setups vulnerable to cyber-attacks. On the other hand, with increased automation, the need for machine and human safety drastically increases. There is an enhanced thrust by plants and manufacturing units regarding safety & safeguarding techniques. As machines increasingly become complex, they demand next-generation automation solutions. Additionally, with higher complexity and speeds, the need for safety in these machines becomes inevitable. Usually, factories see safeguarding techniques as the beginning stage of safety. Moreover, plant and factory operators are demanding safety and security to be implemented in their line machines without hampering productivity and efficiency. The manufacturing landscape is continuously changing, with safety and security at the crux of the change.

Q. How can factories and machine builders reduce risk when it comes to machine safety?

It is aptly said, “You can only cure something that is detected or diagnosed.” This is not only applicable in medicine but also in safety and security in machine building. If machine builders are unaware of risks and hazards, then they cannot fix them. Thus, it is essential for the machine builder to identify gaps and lacunae in his safety procedures in their machines at an early stage, helping them detect and eliminate potential safety risks for humans and machines. A thorough risk assessment in accordance with ISO 12100 will help machine builders to define, prioritize and implement necessary safety measures.

A machine builder should also follow the entire machine safety lifecycle after he successfully assesses the risks in their machines. Understanding the gaps and not bridging them will not be wise. Thus, a machine builder needs to look at a safety concept and a safety design specifically crafted for their machines. Post the design, it is essential for the machine builder to implement the design to not only make his machine safe and comply with necessary applicable standards but also minimalize the impact on the costs and productivity. One would think that this helps the machine to be safe and secure from the identified hazards. However, safety validation is the most crucial step in the safety lifecycle that checks whether the protective measures have been implemented correctly and the safety system is fully functional. Pilz India supports machine builders throughout the entire machine safety lifecycle starting from risk assessment, safety concept, safety design, and safety implementation to safety validation. A machine builder can ensure his machine operates safely and help in reducing risk.

Q. How would a machine builder know that their machine is safe?

After the machine is subjected to a machine safety lifecycle of risk assessment, safety concept, safety design, and safety implementation to safety validation, the machine builder is sure of having implemented the safety measures as per the applicable directives, laws, and standards. This guarantees reduced risk for the machine.

Additionally, machine builders can train their team by providing safety training to employees that helps them gain in-depth knowledge of various safety aspects. Thus, with in-house talent and expertise, they can independently look at conformance and adherence to various laws, directives, and standards.

With our safety systems, businesses can rest assured that their personnel and operations are protected from potential hazards. Our team of 15+ certified consultants include 2 Certified Experts in CE Marking (CECE) and 2 Certified Experts in Functional Safety (CEFS). These professionals who have over a decade of hands-on experience on most complex machines. Our efforts are being recognized by our global team, which has resulted in Pilz India being involved in various international projects.

With Pilz India’s International Qualification Programme (IQP), machine builders can build up their knowledge gradually and continue training up to the required degree of qualification. These training courses are divided into four levels – from introduction level to expert certification. Additionally, a machine builder can also undergo training such as becoming a Certified Machinery Safety Expert (CMSE), Certified Expert in CE Marking (CECE), and Certified Expert in Functional Safety (CEFS). The training is in collaboration with TÜV NORD, with those passing the final examination post-training receiving a certificate that is issued by TÜV NORD and is recognized internationally. Thus, together with the machine safety lifecycle and internationally recognized training by certified experts, machine builders are in safe hands with Pilz India.

We are proud of the fact that with our innovative solutions and decades of expertise, we have globally established ourselves as a complete solution provider for safety and automation technology. Moreover, the industry benefits from our comprehensive service portfolio ranging from risk assessment and safety validation to full engineering. We assist machine builders and factories with safety through the whole machine lifecycle with our services, such as risk assessment, safety concept, safety design, system implementation, and safety validation. This helps the machine builder to ensure his machines are safe.

Q. Workplace safety has gained prominence in India. How does Pilz India help factories and manufacturing units to ensure operator safety?

The continuing safety of machine operators is the top priority for all manufacturing units and factories. Moreover, plant and machine operators are confronted with the challenge of taking all the necessary safety measures to ensure this safety.

Construction, upgrades, manipulation of safeguards or changes to work processes can all undermine the level of protection, which, if undetected, can cause considerable damage and compromise the safety of staff. It is essential to inspect all safeguards with regard to installation, condition, and safe function, which includes E-STOPs, safety gates, two-hand control devices, light curtains, laser scanners, and camera-based systems.

The plant operator or manufacturing unit also needs to gain a comprehensive understanding of the overall safety and conformity status of machinery in accordance with the current legal position and applicable standards. The plant operator or manufacturing unit needs to provide their staff with effective protection from hazardous energy sources in the form of a Lockout/Tagout (LoTo) system. These measures guarantee that machines and other work equipment are isolated from the energy supply, whether electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, etc., which assures an unintended restart. As a plant operator, it is of utmost importance to get the plant assessed to understand the safety status of machinery and the plant as a whole. Pilz India supports plant operators with various safety training.

Pilz India offers you a comprehensive range of services for the standard-compliant analysis and optimization of your safety status in the workplace. With its comprehensive solutions for the factories and manufacturing setups, Pilz India ensures greater safety in the workplace.

Q. When machine builders export machines, they need their machines to comply with various international standards. As a technology leader in the safety market, does Pilz India offer such compliance services to machine builders, helping them with hassle-free compliance?

Manufacturers, exporters and operators who wish to export their machines around the world are confronted with complex compliance and legal issues. These entities need to ensure that their machinery conforms to the regulatory requirements, such as CE marking in Europe, OSHA in the US, NR-12 in Brazil, KOSHA in Korea, GOST in Russia, or CCC in China.

Machinery that is imported into European Union and/or put into service in the territory needs to comply with the testing standards of CE, whether it is a new, used and modified, or expanded machinery. Similar is the situation for various other countries, and the standards vary depending on the country the machine builder is exporting to.

Machine builders need a solution provider with extensive knowledge and experience when it comes to interpreting the applicable directives and standards and actual implementation. Pilz India has been successfully supporting its customers with conformity assessment procedures for various markets and standards. Pilz India assists its customers throughout the conformity assessment.

We also provide International Machinery Safety Compliance services like CE Marking, UL, NR-12 etc. for machine builders exporting machines to the international market. Our Internationally certified trainers provide training on various topics of machine safety with their vast experience.Pilz India-machine

Q. Could you highlight some of the service capabilities of Pilz India?

As a leading provider of safe automation technology solutions, we at Pilz India are committed to providing safe and secure automation solutions for plants and machinery. We understand the challenges faced by businesses in achieving safe, efficient, and secure plant operations. We help machine builders (OEMs), and manufacturing plants to overcome these challenges with our wide range of innovative safe automation solutions.

We are proud of the fact that with our innovative solutions and decades of expertise, we have globally established ourselves as a complete solution provider for safety and automation technology. Our objective is to automate plants, factories, and machinery with guaranteed safety of humans, machines, and the environment. Our automation solutions enable machine builders and factories to become more digital, connected, flexible, efficient, safe, and secure. Our customer-oriented, innovative, and holistic safe automation solutions in accordance with International/National standards and laws have made us extremely successful globally. We work closely with our customers to develop automation solutions that are safe and secure, meeting safety standards and industry requirements.

Safety is our core competency, and we share our know-how for the benefit of the industry by being actively involved in over 50+ standards committees worldwide. We are proud that we have shaped the course of safe automation over the past 7 decades and will continue doing so for decades to come. We also keep tabs on upcoming safety standards and keep our customers informed about these changing trends.

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