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Pilz Automation Safety L.P. Press Release FlashlightNews.org - 3/24/2008

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Company teams with Pilz Automation Safety to improve robot work cells


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CANTON, Mi. - Manufacturing has evolved over the years to where factory workers of merely a generation ago would find it hard to recognize the cleanliness, efficiency, and increased safety at many of today's most up-to-date manufacturing facilities. Yet many manufacturing processes remain inherently dangerous.

SureFire LLC of Fountain Valley, CA, is involved in manufacturing very high level, reliable flashlights for military, law enforcement and consumer use. As are many companies, SureFire is taking many manual manufacturing processes and turning them into automated processes.

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This involves smaller Robot applications, where Robots assemble various parts of a flashlight. In this process not only the manufacturing process and efficiency is key, but also the compliance with applicable safety standards. In a new automated process new technology is used that is improving the way to troubleshoot and diagnose the system to reduce down-time.

"A Robot Work Cell contains a number of safety devices, including E-stops, light curtains, and safety gate switches, all designed to protect operators and other personnel on the plant floor," says Daniel Fischer, SureFire's Vice President of Assembly Operations, "I was looking for a programmable device to not only monitor processes, but to replace six to eight safety relays. This would make the equipment easier to configure and would also require less wiring in the control box." After contacting Pilz, Fischer was introduced to the PNOZmulti modular safety system. The system consists of a base unit that includes a chip card that communicates with various safety devices while also sending signal out for annunciation of the status of the Safety System. Users of the PNOZ multi system can save more than 40 percent of engineering, installation, and maintenance time and costs.

"Our benefits are that we are able to replace between six and eight safety relays in every machine we build, so there's less wiring and less hardware, which translates into cost savings," Fischer says. "It is very easy and intuitive to operate, making configurability a simple matter of drag-and-drop on a PC. And if a robot work cell ever needs to be modified, the ease of changing configurations is a real time-saver." Overall, the benefits to SureFire as an end-user equate to shorter engineering and installation times while achieving unquestioned security in monitoring all safety requirements. "We did the analysis, and Pilz was perfect for our application," states Fischer.

About Surefire LLC

SureFire LLC is a recognized industry leader in manufacturing premium high-performance Flashlights and Weapon accessories for military, law enforcement and consumer markets. SureFire LLC continues to grow and diversify to remain a valued partner to its customers and a respected member of industry.

About Pilz Automation Safety L.P.

The world leader is SAFE automation, Pilz offers a full range of leading-edge safe automation products and services. The company's innovative technologies and safety expertise provides customers with the leanest and safest solutions. Products include sensor technology, electrical monitoring relays, automation solutions with motion control, safety relays, programmable safety and control systems and an operating and monitoring range. Wireless and safe bus systems are also available for industrial networking.

Pilz also provides a comprehensive range of consulting, engineering and training services. Certified consultants provide a wide range of services worldwide such as risk assessment, safety concept, safety design, CE services and safety sign-off. To keep a company LEAN and SAFE, there is no better partner than Pilz.