2011 POY Finalists: Safety
Finalists in Safety in Plant Engineering’s 2011 Product of the Year competition
ErectaStep is a universal platform and stair system designed to provide an alternative to custom metal fabrication. With only 4 components, users can quickly and easily assemble an infinite number of configurations. Popular configurations include cross-over stairs for access over obstructions, stair platforms for repeated maintenance access, ladder replacement and mezzanines. Since ErectaStep platforms and stairs are bolted together, reconfiguration of a system is easy to handle. A dolly component is also available, allowing systems to be mobile as well.
The Arc Vault system features an activation switch that can be used during routine maintenance to put the low-voltage equipment into a high-protection mode. When an arc flash event occurs, the system will send a signal to the arc containment device. At the same time the decision to divert the arc is made, the system will also make a decision to open an upstream circuit breaker. This will turn off the system in approximately three cycles, at which point the arc in the containment system will terminate.
The LiftPod FS60 lifts provide an alternative to working on ladders and scaffolding. The LiftPod FS60 is ANSI A92.3-2006/CSA B354.1-04 compliant and promotes safety by combining lightweight portability with a secure work platform. It doesn't require an OSHA-regulated two-man operation because one worker can complete tasks with a 360-degree range of motion in an enclosed platform. The FS60 weighs only 130 lbs—each of its three components weighs about 50 lbs—and can be assembled in less than 30 seconds.
The PGR-8800 Arc-Flash Relay protects personnel, equipment, and reputation by rapidly detecting developing arc-flash incidents and tripping the circuit before significant damage occurs. The PGR-8800 can detect an arc flash in less than 1 ms, making it one of the fastest arc-flash relays on the market. It detects both current and light to minimize nuisance trips and provides overcurrent protection. With 24 photoelectric or fiber-optic sensors, the PGR-8800 offers complete coverage for your application—no matter how challenging the space.
The Guardmaster simplifies safety relay selections and reduces component inventory and lifecycle costs. Designed to meet global functional safety standards, the line of safety relays includes six basic units capable of supporting a broad range of safety devices in a variety of applications. The Guardmaster relay line features a single-wire communication capability that helps eliminate the need for dual-channel connection between relays. Users can expand and cascade safety functions up to a SIL 3 rating using a single wire to connect between relays, reducing installation time and effort.
The Ultra-Sidewinder Cable Protection System protects cords and cables, reducing dangerous tripping hazards. Articulating pieces offer flexible design, including curves, corners, and s-curves, while maintaining a completely flat profile. The system’s modular design makes it easier to reconfigure, repair, and replace segments, without needing to disconnect the cable. The installation requires no tools, and the assembled system (with cord) can be coiled for transport. The Ultra-Sidewinder system offers a fully customizable length—from 4.5 ft to an unlimited length.
The SPFJ Global Fuse for 1000VDC, 125-450 A solar applications is UL 2579 Listed, designed, and manufactured in accordance with IEC Standard 602269-6. These standards ensure the safety of both equipment and personnel. Offered in UL Class J case sizes, the SPFJ provides space savings opportunities, as the installer can either mount the SPFJ to a busbar or use the UL 4248-18 Listed 1000 VDC holder, offering additional flexibility. It also offers a full-range PV time-current characteristic for added protection.
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.