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17 July, 2024

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Easy-to-use safe key system expands, enhancing versatility

03 July, 2024

The German machine safety specialist Euchner has enhanced its EKS2 safe key system, making it easier to implement and operate applications such as lockout, trapped-key and authorisation systems. These applications use the same base device with highly-coded RFID transponder-based keys. The system can be used whenever dangerous machine movements must be started or started safely, independently of existing safeguards.

Euchner UK demonstrated the system at the recent Smart Manufacturing and Engineering Week event.

The company says the new products are a logical development of the EKS system and offer advantages in terms of digital access control and the selection of safe operating modes. Template projects with predefined functions and data fields minimise the need for programming.

When a key is inserted into the key adapter, the data on the key is read and checked for validity. If the key is recognised as valid, safety outputs switch. The keys are taught on the adapter, without needing complex programming.

The base device has a new LED indicator for rapid troubleshooting. There is also a new submodule that expands the applications of Euchner’s MGB2 door-locking system. The MSM-CKS2 submodule can be mounted on MGB2 locking modules or MCM extension modules. More than 1,000 different keys can be used, without needing complicated configuration and key management.

Euchner is using Profinet for communications, together with safe semiconductor outputs. The Profinet switch that forms part of the system is easy to integrate into bus systems. The 1-of-n safety outputs are connected to a safe control system and evaluated there. This supports safe operating modes up to Cat 4 / PL e.

Euchner’s enhanced safe key system makes it easier to implement and operate applications

Instead of programming the entire selection of safe operating modes in the control system, as was the case in the past, users can now select a configure the parameters for a project via a GSDML file.

Applications for the expanded system include:
Safe lockouts that stop installations to access dangerous areas. The installation cannot be started without a key.
Identical locking safe key systems for starting sequences in different installation areas.
Trapped-key systems, in which the key is removed to stop the installation, and inserted to start a defined sequence.
Authorisation systems that allow several operators to use keys with the same code but different identifications.

“The development process was based on more than 20 years’ experience of the existing EKS system and many discussions with customers,” says Euchner product manager, Marc Wiederoder. “Sometimes only a few improvements are needed to make an already good system even better. Our main objective was to design a system that is as simple as possible for customers to use.”

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