Simplified Safety: New Wireless Safety Mobile Panel
Failsafe, wireless operator control and monitoring via Rapid Roaming
Siemens Industry Automation Division has improved the performance and equipment of its portable devices for wireless operator control and monitoring of machinery and plants, as well as enhancing them with additional functions. For safety-oriented applications, the Mobile Panel 277F IWLAN communicates via a "Rapid Roaming" process in order to ensure interruption-free transmission of the wireless signals. Optimization measures in the Mobile Panel 277 IWLAN and Mobile Panel 277F IWLAN for safety-related applications include color display of the WLAN signal strength with an additional vibration alarm, which is triggered when a specific lower limit threshold is violated. Handling of the enabling button has also been improved.
For safety-oriented applications, the 277F IWLAN Mobile Panel communicates by means of the extended WLAN access procedure iPCF-MC (Industrial Point Coordination Function with Management Channel), also known as "Rapid Roaming". This ensures fast handover of the radio signals between access points and interruption-free roaming times - a basic requirement for mobile operator control and monitoring in safety-related areas where enabling and emergency stop buttons are used. The Mobile Panel 277F IWLAN is suitable for use in a Profinet-based network with a Profisafe profile and IWLAN infrastructure with Scalance W access points from Siemens.
The configuration of the Industrial WLAN connection has been simplified for both new Siemens panels with a software wizard available via web interface. Multiple wireless approvals mean that the devices can be used all over the world. The Mobile Panel 277 IWLAN without safety functions is also suitable for applications with the Simotion motion control system.
One of the new failsafe Mobile Panel 277F IWLAN variants utilizes economical Moby D Smart Cards for site localization, with logging on to the appropriate operating area on an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag instead of a transponder. A typical application here is in security-compliant robot cells.
Further information can be found on the Internet at: www.siemens.com/panels
Visit www.usa.siemens.com/hmi for more information.
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.