Mechatronics Canada

January 13, 2022

MC PILZ Safe Operation of AGVs 1 400


Where a human shares a workspace with an automated guided vehicle, i.e. a machine, there are particular requirements for safety concepts; human and machine must be able to operate smoothly and safely within the same environment. PILZ takes a holistic look at your automated guided vehicle system. They get on board as early as the design phase, when the system concept is developed, and provide support for your projects right through to commissioning. That way they ensure that safety and productivity are guaranteed when your automated guided vehicle systems are operated.

Your requirements

As an operator or manufacturer of automated guided vehicles or vehicle systems (multiple automated guided vehicles), you must comply with the specifications of ISO 3691-4. It defines the requirements of the safety functionsand specifies how to validate the vehicles' automated functions.

ISO 3691-4 also specifies the required performance level for the vehicle monitoring functions, various operating modes and the brake controller.

Standard ISO 3691-4 for automated guided vehicle systems and autonomous mobile robots

The standard ISO 3691-4 specifies a clear procedure for achieving safety on an automated guided vehicle system, for both manufacturers and operators. It defines an automated guided vehicle system as a combination of one or more automated guided vehicles or autonomous mobile robots and the plant environment.

The 2020 publication of the standard ISO 3691-4 for automated guided vehicle systems and autonomous mobile robots was a reaction to the rapid development of new technologies in the field of automated vehicles. The ISO standard was long overdue, as its predecessor (EN 1525:1997) had been published 23 years previously. It can now be regarded as the most important international standard for automated guided vehicle systems. In Europe, ISO 3691-4 is supplemented by the standard EN 1175:2020, which refers to specific electrical aspects of self-propelled industrial trucks (including automated guided vehicle systems).

In addition to the international launch of ISO 3691-4, the USA also updated the relevant standards in 2019 and 2020: ANSI/ITSF B56.5:2019 (automated guided vehicle systems) and ANSI/RIA R15.08-1:2020 (autonomous mobile robots).

Learn more about the International Standards here

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PILZ services

Do you use automated guided vehicles or vehicle systems in your production hall or in intralogistics applications? Then you need to ensure that your system is not only designed safely, but is also applied safely and above all productively, taking into account all the spatial and infrastructural conditions.

PILZ's "Safe operation of automated guided vehicle systems" service offers a complete package, right through to the international conformity assessment.


Select the appropriate service:


Design risk assessment (DRA)

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  • Review of the risk assessment conducted by the manufacturer of the automated guided vehicle (on site or remotely)
  • Examination of the essential design features regarding application of the automated guided vehicle
  • Check for compliance with relevant standards and regulations/guarantee that the automated guided vehicle complies with legal requirements
  • PILZ delivers the following results:
  1. Design risk assessment (DRA) of the automated guided vehicle, based on design drawings and information you provide on the application of the automated guided vehicles
  2. Design review report for the automated guided vehicle
  3. List of the necessary/recommended measures to increase safety and productivity


Optional factory acceptance test at the manufacturer's (FAT)

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  • Detailed analysis of the key safety functions of an automated guided vehicle
  • PILZ delivers the following documents:
  1. Detailed report on the factory acceptance test
  2. List of the necessary/recommended measures to increase safety and productivity

This service is also of interest to manufacturers of automated guided vehicles. PILZ can advise you on specific safety functions for navigation, control, brakes or speed monitoring. And they can supply the relevant proof of conformity for your customers.


Site acceptance test (SAT)

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  • Full risk assessment of the whole automated guided vehicle system
  • Examination of all/selected automated guided vehicles that are in use
  • Validation of the whole application, including inspection of its environment
  • Advice on all necessary measures for the user on site
  • PILZ delivers the following documents:
  1. Risk assessment
  2. Site acceptance test report
  3. List of measures

Your benefits at a glance

  • Save time and costs with us as your safety and automation partner for the entire application.
  • PILZ will guarantee that your applications meet the requirements of ISO 3691-4. If necessary, they can confirm this in the form of a conformity assessment.
  • PILZ will check the safety of automated guided vehicle systems even at the early stages of the procurement process. That way you avoid additional costs and save time.
  • PILZ can ensure you have the optimum combination of material usage and maximum safety


To learn more about PILZ's solutions for Automated Guided Vehicle Systems, click here


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MC PepperlFuchs Monitoring Condition of Plants w Vibration Sensors 3a 400

To enable long-term monitoring of vibrations, Pepperl+Fuchs recently launched a new portfolio of vibration sensors. You can find out what distinguishes these products in the following blog article. Using a wind turbine as an application example, we will also show you how you can use vibration and acceleration sensors in combination to keep an eye on both long-term and short-term changes in vibration.

The portfolio of vibration sensors

Pepperl+Fuchs has recently started offering a range of vibration sensors to perform reliable measurements of vibration velocity and acceleration in low or high frequency ranges. Compared to similar products, Pepperl+Fuchs’ vibration sensors have approvals up to SIL 2, a large measuring range of up to 128 mm/s, and automatic condition detection for ball bearings. Due to their robust housing and encapsulated electronics, the sensors impress with maintenance-free operation and a particularly long service life.

The three designs in the portfolio are available with different certifications and approvals. In this way, you can find the right vibration sensor for every application:

  • VIM3 series: The compact VIM3 series is suitable for applications up to SIL 1/PL c, and has output options for analog or IO-Link.
  • VIM6 series: The VIM6 series is approved for hazardous areas up to Zone 1/21. With an extended temperature operating range of -40°C … +125 °C, the sensors are ideal for high-temperature areas.
  • VIM8 series: Due to a particularly robust housing made of duplex steel, the vibration sensors of the VIM8 series are designed for use in offshore applications as well as in harsh and hazardous areas of Zone 1/21. Moreover, the sensors have an approval up to SIL 2/PL d.


Vibration sensors vs. acceleration sensors

Not only vibration sensors, but also acceleration sensors from Pepperl+Fuchs are used to measure changes in vibration: Both record the vibration acceleration in g. Nevertheless, the sensors differ in their technical operating principle and are therefore each suitable for different applications.


Read More


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