Machine Safety: You can have both safety and productivity

Solutions can deliver machine safety and productivity. Safety automation delivers a viable option to cabling discrete electromechanical components for safety compliance. And, by eliminating the need for cabling, safety automation can now help improve productivity.

11/19/2013



Safety automation for machine control graphic shows technology and reliability adoption over time, according to J.B. Titus. Courtesy: Control Engineering Machine Safety blogAfter years of machine safety being blamed for unexplained accidents and lost productivity we have finally achieved solutions capable of delivering both machine safety and productivity. Safety automation delivers a viable option to cabling discrete electromechanical components for safety compliance. And, by eliminating the need for cabling, safety automation can now help improve productivity.

If you have lived in industry for the past 40 years you would have witnessed the entire paradigm shift in machine control systems from "everything wired" to "cables safety." For machine control systems this is like comparing hot air balloons to Boeing’s "Dream Liner" for transportation. When speaking to industry colleagues I can easily see that less than 10% of a typical audience was working in industry in the 1960s. Most weren’t even born.  

Today, safety automation offers flexible scalable safety controllers and advanced communications incorporating field devices, wireless safe sensors, safe software, safe drives & motion and optoelectronics including light curtains, scanners and safe cameras. The impact on the architecture of a machine control system is a dramatic leaning out of the number and type of components like motor starters, contactors, safety relays, and resolvers. Eliminating these components also reduces their control reliable architecture design effort and related point to point wiring required to meet the redundancy demands for highly reliable safety functions.

As a result, in my opinion, safety automation offers greater reliability of safety functions over time and increased productivity because functions for the multiple devices above are integrated directly into safety certified devices. A main reason for greater productivity is that problematic intermittent failures of multiple components and their point to point wiring have been reduced significantly.

This is too logical, right? If this thought is holding you back just ask yourself, "why are practically all of the automation control and device manufacturers investing millions of dollars integrating safety functionality into their products?" There must be a market for them to generate a return on investement (ROI). Otherwise they wouldn't be investing.

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.

Related articles:

Machine Safety – system degradation and incidence of injury.

Updating Minds About Machine Safety

Machine Safety – the myths of safety cultures.

Machine safety: Will applying OEE improve safety, compliance, and profits? 

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 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Bring focus to PLC programming: 5 things to avoid in putting your system together; Managing the DCS upgrade; PLM upgrade: a step-by-step approach
Balancing the bagging triangle; PID tuning improves process efficiency; Standardizing control room HMIs
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

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.