Cableless (Wireless) Operator Panel Applications
Cableless (wireless) operator panels for machine applications, in my opinion, need special application considerations for appropriate and safe use. True, we often talk about how a wireless field bus and a wired field bus have many similarities. Even when they are safety certified for functional safety applications they continue to have many similarities. However, there are several application recommendations available to ensure that utmost care is exercised in planning and execution of cableless (wireless) operator panel. In no particular order, some of the recommendations are as follows:
- Choose a supplier with a track record of successful applications having NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory) tested and certified products for safety applications.
- Make sure your Risk Assessment for the application is up to date and identifies any hazards presented by a cableless (wireless) solution.
- Research current/available industry standards and regulations addressing your application.
- If at all possible, complete a functional specification for the application and make sure any safety related functions are identified.
- Consult heavily with your supplier for their application/installation recommendations.
- Consider best practices and lessons learned.
- Perform a complete checkout of all normal and safety functions.
- to mention a few……………
Remember that “Murphy’s Law” say’s that the unforeseen is likely to happen so keep in mind that responsible suppliers put limits on their products and applications to increase their reliability. Given this to be the case, it’s my opinion to always stay within the supplier’s specifications and recommendations for the greatest assurance of reliability and safety compliance. Often times there are cost saving advantages for utilizing cableless (wireless) operator panels but only if their reliable and safe.
Further information is available at a Webinar I’m presenting on this topic titled “The Case for Wireless Safety” scheduled for April 28th. The link for registration is - https://siemens.webex.com/mw0306l/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=siemens
For more on Machine Safety visit: www.jbtitus.com
Posted by J.B. Titus on April 2, 2010
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.