Optima Control Solutions experts design and build safety control systems for a variety of industries including paper, plastics and metals. Recent ­projects include API’s laminating line in Poynton, a safety critical application at Dunlop Oil & Marine and a safety control system for ­papermaking, coating and converting company Tullis Russell

For API’s laminating line in Poynton, Optima replaced the single channel emergency stop push buttons and guards with a dual circuit system. Six new lockable guard switches were fitted on the machine. A safety ‘motion detection system’ was included using star wheel plates and rotation detection proximity switches fitted on two DC motor driven rollers.

The redundant safety system was designed to ensure that if one contactor failed to open and remove the mains supply, a backup contactor would ensure the supply is removed. Designing machine safety systems needs due consideration of machine operability. The use of a programmable safety PLC (Pilz) allowed the flexibility for machine operators to enter some sections of the machine without compromising the integrity of the machine safety circuit.

API’s engineering manager Tony Robinson says: “Optima did a high quality job, on time and within budget – which is why we have used them before and will use them again. They have been excellent.”

In another, equally safety critical application at Dunlop Oil & Marine, Optima was to refurbish one of its main production machines to improve its control and reliability, and to meet the stricter safety standard of EN13849.

The project required Optima’s engineers to work with their Dunlop counterparts to design a complex, yet flexible, safety system, which could also monitor the rate of motion under various operational conditions. Optima selected the Pilz PNOZ Multiprogrammable safety relay to enhance the security of the machine and extend its lifetime. It also used Siemens’ Simotion D drive to precisely gear-lock the machine’s carriage drive, which applies the material to the main drive. Optima MD Michael Hill says: “By using the latest Siemens and Pilz technology we successfully enhanced the safety, security and lifetime of Dunlop’s machine, therefore eliminating a major risk factor.”

Another business for which Optima upgraded a safety control system was the papermaking, coating and ­converting company Tullis Russell in Scotland. For this project, Optima integrated a Siemens PLC and HMI, Parker SSD drives, ABB tension control, Pilz safety equipment and Sick optics, subsequently elevating the machine’s productivity. The emergency stop system was designed to suit a risk level SIL 2. A Pilz PNOZ Multi programmable safety relay system was also used for this application. Hill said: “When considering a control system upgrade safety improvements are unavoidable and are a fundamental component that keeps the machine running.”

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