Machine Safety: Are you farming out the designing in of functional safety component requirements?

Functional safety is supposed to be designed into machine design, but is it being farmed out for others to do? Are automation suppliers truly considering farming out the design and safety certification effort of integrating functional safety features into existing components? See four strategies and one caution.

06/06/2013


With all the chatter on the internet and in the media a new subject arises regarding functional safety. Are automation suppliers truly considering farming out the design and safety certification effort of integrating functional safety features into existing components?

Well, it seems that there are some engineering firms which are specializing in this capability and offering these services to various automation suppliers. This strategy appears to be partly based on various factors:

1. Market demand has increased for automation products with functional safety features. For example, drive systems with safe stop, safe torque off, etc.  safety functionality built in.

2. Time to market can be shortened by utilizing experienced qualified engineering firms to provide these services.

3. Automation companies typically incur incremental costs to grow specialized internal safety certified organizational know-how to perform these services.

4. Increased market demand comes from an increasing awareness of reduced life cycle costs of ownership through “safety automation” versus hardwired safety applications.

You probably say, "Great stuff!" Right?

Caution: Don’t be too quick to run to the bank. As an end user, just because your favorite automation supplier quickly brought you a safety certified component doesn’t necessarily mean they’re capable of full service to you as their customer. Farming out the design and certification effort is only one spoke in the wheel of resources required by automation suppliers to support their safety automation products. To mention a few; they will also need pre-sales support, post sale service support and training support. You wouldn’t want to phone your automation supplier’s 24 hour hot line only to be transferred to their engineering firm sub contractor (for functional safety) to then leave a voice message. After all, reducing unplanned machine downtime was supposed to be part of your return-on-investment decision. 

So, you might want to ask your favorite automation supplier a few questions related to the topics above before deciding.

Has this presented you with any new perspectives? Add your comments or thoughts to the discussion by submitting your ideas, experiences, and challenges in the comments section below.

J.B. Titus, CFSE

Related articles:

Inside Machines: Does adopting ISO 13849-1:2006 change the U.S. model for compliance and enforcement?

Machine safety: Incorporating functional safety as part of your machine safety plan, Part 4

Machine safety and functional safety: Which type?

Machine Safety: functional safety and the steps to be compliant in the US.

Contact: http://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...
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
What controller fits your application; Permanent magnet motors; Chemical manufacturer tames alarm management; Taking steps in a new direction
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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 digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on creating and enhancing a safe workplace in manufacturing.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me