2013 Product of the Year finalists: Safety
Finalists in the Safety category for the Plant Engineering 2013 Product of the Year competition.
Liquid level switch
The Liquiphant FLT8x level switch features a fail-safe design and high reliability for monitoring minimum and maximum liquid levels in safety applications up to SIL3. The FTL8x series of point level switches have two relay outputs, a 4 to 20 mA output that connects to a fail-safe switching unit with a two-channel output, safety contacts, and a safety locking function. For high reliability, built-in diagnostics monitor the tuning fork-type sensor for damage, corrosion, material buildup, and mechanical blocking. If a problem occurs, the live signal changes to notify the operator, and a fault relay sends a signal switch to an annunciator or PLC.
Harness with aluminum hardware
The Miller AirCore harness is available with lightweight, corrosion-resistant aluminum hardware to provide superior performance and comfort. The aluminum materials and components are designed to reduce fatigue for all-day endurance and increased productivity. The breathable, open-core padding technology provides optimal airflow while reducing heat and moisture entrapment, keeping a worker drier and cooler. The AirCore harness is designed with patented Miller DuraFlex stretchable webbing that provides greater flexibility and increased comfort. The unique cam buckles on the shoulder straps allow for easy vertical webbing adjustments, and the webbing design creates an original and vibrant style for greater visibility.
Honeywell Safety Products
Overhead rotational boom anchor
The unique design of the Miller SkyORB overhead rotational boom anchor utilizes the weight of the vehicle being loaded, unloaded, or serviced as a counterweight to provide a safe overhead anchorage point. The unit features a 20-ft long telescoping mast and a boom that rotates 360 degrees, allowing it to be easily positioned above a worker’s head to minimize free-fall distance and swing fall when used with a self-retracting lifeline. In addition, its patented energy-absorbing technology reduces forces on the system. The Miller SkyORB anchor is designed for use with elevated platforms ranging from 6 to 14 ft above the ground and provides a working radius of up to 14 ft.
Honeywell Safety Products
Air conditioning vest
The re-designed and re-engineered Personal Air Conditioning (PAC) vest is an innovative solution to protect industrial workers in extreme temperature environments. Key design enhancements include an integrated belt with a heat-resistant Nexus belt buckle and an adjustable waist belt that provides a quick connection to cool or warm air with the Dual Action PAC switching quickly from hot to cold. The lightweight vest can be worn under other protective clothing and can be adjusted easily by the user, even with gloved hands. The PAC vest is available in three sizes to accommodate a range of body types.
Hard hat interchange system
The Jackson Safety Hard Hat Interchange System allows users to easily add, remove, or switch between their welding helmet and face shield, all without removing their hard hat. This system keeps workers protected continuously to help reduce injuries and maintain compliance. It works by touch only, so there is no need to remove the hat as the user changes his or her personal protective equipment (PPE). The vertical lock-in function on the Hard Hat Interchange System eliminates helmet/face shield creep. The easy-to-use system keeps productivity up and keeps workers compliant with ANSI Z87.1-2010 standards while reducing inventory of various parts and pieces.
The Jackson Safety Balder W-70 BH3 ADF welding helmet provides a uniform shade level over the entire viewing area without noticeable and annoying brightening at the edges of the filter, which creates a murky and hazy weld pool. The proprietary technology of the W-70 BH3 decreases angular dependence to virtually undetectable levels, increasing welder comfort and productivity. The 1.24-lb helmet meets the ANSI Z87.1 high impact 2010 standards and is solar-powered. The W-70 BH3 offers better protection of the face, ears, and throat, and an aerodynamic shell designed for better fume deflection.
Pedestrian warning spotlight
The Safe-Lite is a pedestrian warning spotlight that alerts workers of forklifts approaching blind corners or forklifts entering and exiting trailers. The blue LED light projects an intense spotlight 10 to 20 ft ahead of the forklift to alert the pedestrian of nearby traffic. The Safe-Lite can be installed on the front or back of any forklift, sweeper, or any other piece of industrial equipment. The spotlight has two LED lights and lenses to ensure a visible blue spot on the floor. The Safe-Lite has a 50,000-hr LED life rating, a 140-degree swivel mounting bracket, and an 8-ft cable length with clips.
Latching pail lid
The PIG 5-gal Latching Pail Lid is designed to fit both steel and poly 5-gal pails. The durable, powder-coated steel lid easily opens and closes with a single latching hasp. A reinforced hinge, latching mechanism, and nitrile gasket create a tight seal around the lid, helping to keep pail contents pure and decrease vapor emissions. The fast-latch ring makes installation easy on steel or poly open-headed 5-gal pails with an 11.25-in. inside diameter. The Latching Pail Lid helps users comply with 40 CFR 261.4, which requires excluded solvent contaminated wipes to be accumulated and stored in closed containers while they are managed on-site.
New Pig Corporation
Superhydrophobic, oleophobic coating
Ultra-Ever Dry is a superhydrophobic (water) and oleophobic (hydrocarbon) coating that completely repels any liquid. It uses proprietary nanotechnology to coat an object and create a barrier of air on its surface. This coating can be used for various applications, such as to prevent wetting, corrosion, icing, and contamination, and for self-cleaning and extending product life. The two-part spray-on coating can be applied with a compressor/air sprayer or, for smaller applications, with available pump or trigger sprayers. Ultra-Ever Dry can be used on various materials, such as steel, aluminum, other metals, plastic, leather, fabric, wood, and concrete.
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.