Have You Considered Machine Safety's Compliance Lifecycle?

As a plant manager, have you ever wondered in the dark of night how effective the machine guarding in your plant is protecting your #1 resource, your employee?

03/11/2011


As a plant manager, have you ever wondered in the dark of night how effective the machine guarding in your plant is protecting your #1 resource, your employee? In order to take an honest look at this question I think we need to step back and ask this question - How does my corporate safety culture play a role in maintaining a robust machine guarding practice over time?

 

Drilling into this question, I suggest we look at two basic approaches industry uses today in providing machine guarding. These two approaches are either separate hardwired applications or designed in and fully integrated safety automation. I think that we would all agree that these two approaches are at least equally robust and compliant when the machines are initially commission into production. The real difference we’ve all experienced between these two approaches occurs over time with regard to maintaining their effectiveness. Simply put, the hardwired applications require a lot of attention and effort to maintain their effectiveness because of everyday events or issues. Some of these events or issues could include:

·      Engineering modifications

·      Welded contacts on components

·      Jumpered components

·      Overdue maintenance

·       Intermittent downtime – broken or loose cables

·       Excessive downtime due to inadequate operator diagnostics

 

How well these kinds of everyday events and issues are mitigated is generally a direct result of the “safety culture” within any given organization. A practice I’ve seen frequently is that the level of safety compliance for hardwired machine safety applications often drifts, degrades, and silently becomes less compliant. It’s a constant struggle to keep these systems fully functional as they age.

 

On the other hand, fully integrated safety automation machine guarding systems are flexible and can be more easily modified over time. They also incorporate significantly less wiring, include simplified fault detection and operator diagnostics, and eliminate numerous add-on safety components. It appears that these systems also have greater longevity and reliability because they’re based on certified hardware and software technology vs electromechanical components which have defined failure rates.

 

These are definitely interesting times for us dealing with machine safety and machine guarding strategies. In the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s there was hardly a choice of approaches. Today, the plant manager has a choice – hardwired or fully integrated machine safety. You can learn more about these issues by registering for the Control Engineering Safety Integration webcast scheduled for April 14, 2011. Which approach offers the best safety compliance lifecycle?

  

INTEGRATED SAFETY COULD BE YOUR OPPORTUNITY – CONSIDER IT!

Submit your ideas, experiences, and challenges on this subject in the comments section below. Click on the following text if you don't see a comments box, then scroll down: Have You Considered Machine Safety’s Compliance Lifecycle?

 

Related articles:

 

Safety integration webcast: Changing regulations, efficiency, productivity

 

How To Integrate Safety

 

Contact: www.jbtitus.com for “Solutions for Machine Safety”.

 

 

 



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
World-class manufacturing: A recipe for success: Finding the right mix for a salad dressing line; 2015 Salary Survey: Manufacturing slump dims enthusiasm
2015 Top Plant: Phoenix Contact, Middletown, Pa.; 2015 Best Practices: Automation, Electrical Safety, Electrical Systems, Pneumatics, Material Handling, Mechanical Systems
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Getting ready for industrial IoT; Visualizing the (applied) automation continuum; Preventing VFD faults and failures; Using wireless for closed-loop applications
Migrating industrial networks; Tracking HMI advances; Making the right automation changes
Understanding transfer switch operation; Coordinating protective devices; Analyzing NEC 2014 changes; Cooling data centers

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.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.