Machine Safety: Year over year safety automation growth outpaces general automation

Safety automation growth is outpacing growth in general automation. See these seven reasons and add your thoughts using the comment feature.


Why is safety automation growth outpacing its parent – general automation? I see seven key explanations. I’ve been involved since safety automation came to market in 2002 so have been in the trenches seeing the year over year increase in safety automation growth.

I doubt that there is a single reason for this phenomenon. The contributing factors though can be understood by referencing this graphic I created for seminar discussion.

Safety automation for machine control graphic shows technology and reliability adoption over time, according to J.B. Titus. Courtesy: Control Engineering Machine Safety blogFrom this graphic let’s brainstorm some ideas on driving this growth phenomenon:

1. Compare the life cycles of general to safety automation. General automation is in its mature life cycle whereas safety automation is still in its rapid growth early adoption life cycle.

2. General automation users are “pulling” safety automation into applications.

3. Users are realizing that safety automation resolves many of the unplanned downtime issues and, as a result, drives growth in profits.

4. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) understand the advantages of diagnostics from safety devices and the reduced manufacturing costs of eliminating cable runs.

5. Control architectures are simplified via all machine control on single platforms.

6. Safety automation advantages have arrived at the C-level and CEOs are aware of the opportunity for business dynamics.

7. Machine safety is not compromised via safety automation. In fact, many argue that hazards can be mitigated to reduced levels with safety automation.

What are some of your brainstorming ideas or experiences? Please take a few minutes to list some of your thoughts to move this discussion. How about technology innovation, globalization, harmonization, etc.?

Has this presented you with any new perspectives? Do you have some specific topic or interest that we could cover in future blog posts? Add your comments or thoughts to the discussion by submitting your ideas, experiences, and challenges in the comments section below.

Related articles:

Machine Safety: Industry 4.0 and how it could impact machine safety

Machine Safety: System integrators report shortage of safety resources

Machine safety: Executives balance risks, profits

Machine Safety: Managing operational risk

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