New version of machinery safety calculator - free demo!

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New version of machinery safety calculator - free demo!Pilz Automation Technology is releasing a new version of its powerful PAScal software package for performing the calculations required when designing safety-related machine control systems in accordance with EN ISO 13849-1 or EN IEC 62061. PAScal makes it much easier to ensure compliance with the standards' requirements, plus it helps to save both time and costs. Version 1.2.0 includes a calculation graph as per EN ISO 13849-1, and it also benefits from a number of enhancements to both the functionality and usability. In addition, PAScal 1.2.0 runs on PCs with Windows XP or Vista.

As with the previous version, PAScal 1.2.0 features an intuitive graphical interface that enables users to visualise the safety system architecture - thereby helping to avoid errors. Unlike the previous release, however, PAScal 1.2.0 allows users to open multiple projects, which is a major advantage when working on complex machinery or new projects that are similar to previous ones. PAScal 1.2.0's usability is further improved by means of context-sensitive help, and users now have greater control over their preferences.

PAScal enables a control system's safety functions to be broken down into sub-systems (such as sensors, inputs, outputs, actuators and logic), then the software calculates the overall probability of a dangerous failure per hour (PFHD), and verifies the data with the prescribed performance level (EN ISO 13849-1) or safety integrity level (EN IEC 62061). The software can take into account possible alternative architectures and variations in the way components are connected together and parameterised. A useful improvement in version 1.2.0 relates to the way safety fieldbus connections can be configured.

When designing to EN ISO 13849-1, the calculator evaluates common-cause failures (CCF) and diagnostic coverage (DC) by considering factors such as shorts between contacts or synchronicity monitoring on multi-channel sensors.

Built-in database and third-party libraries

Underpinning the calculator is a database that contains a comprehensive set of data for Pilz safety products. PAScal version 1.2.0 supports the use of third-party libraries, and improvements to the navigation tree make it easier to find the required products in the library. Users can readily add to the library if they wish to design control systems with other components for which they possess the relevant numerical data.

As before, PAScal 1.2.0 enables reports to be produced for project documentation, and data can be reused in new projects. In both cases, valuable time savings can accrue.

Please contact Pilz to request more information about the PAScal safety calculator or download the free demo version from (registration required). Note that although this has restricted functionality, the demo software is still extremely useful.


There is also a review of PAScal 1.2.3 by and note that there is now (January 2012) a new version, PAScal 1.6.0.

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