Machine Safety: Are you using planning and execution tools?

Machine guarding has clearly entered the technology world with integrated safety systems. But, are you still using 1970s approaches for planning and executing? Scotty didn’t beam colleagues to the Starship Enterprise via Hertz Rent-a-Car!

12/09/2011


JB Titus, CFSEMachine guarding has clearly entered the technology world with integrated safety systems. But, are you still using 1970s approaches for planning and executing? Scotty didn’t beam colleagues to the Starship Enterprise via Hertz Rent-a-Car!

   We’ve entered the twenty-first century with state-of-the-art technology approved for use in machine safety applications. Along with the technology comes a whole host of new tools specifically designed to assist industry in the evaluation, design, and validation stages of your machine guarding responsibility. This is really a subject where you can help your colleagues by sharing your experience with different tools. Let’s take a quick look at just a few of these tools.            

   One of the most recent tools was just announced last month in Chicago at Rockwell Automation’s Safety Automation Forum and Automation Fair. This new tool is an ROI (return on investment) calculation Tool for machine safety. Its primary application is in the project development stage for securing investment funding. This comprehensive tool is unique because it combines financial, injury, and productivity related data to calculate a projected investment ROI. A basic understanding is that the new integrated safety systems can provide improved business performance for manufacturers compared with conventional hard wired machine guarding solutions.

   Siemens, Pilz, and Rockwell Automation all have tools for users to design safety circuits compliant to IEC 62061 and EN ISO 13849-1. Projects can be archived and retrieved as needed for timely updates and the tools will also generate a safety standard compliant report which can be incorporated into your required machine documentation. They generally include a complete library of safety products for planning a complete safety circuit. All of these project planning and execution tools provide automatic calculations of requirements such as; common-cause failures (CCF), diagnostic coverage (DC), performance level (PL), safety integrity level (SIL), probability of a dangerous failure per hour (PFHD), and several more. Links to these tools are listed below:

 

   I’ve touched on just a few of the available tools developed over the past ten years for the specific purpose of supporting safety integrated systems for machine safety. What are your opinions of these tools and what additional tools have you used and found useful?

   Your comments or suggestion are always welcome so please let us know your thoughts. Submit your ideas, experiences, and challenges on this subject in the comments section below. Click on the following text if you don't see a comments box, then scroll down: Machine Safety: Are you using planning and execution tools? 

   Related articles:

How To Integrate Safety

Rockwell Automation ROI Tool

Siemens Safety Evaluation Tool

PILZ PAScal Safety Calculator

Rockwell Automation SISTEMA

Contact: www.jbtitus.com for “Solutions for Machine Safety”.



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
40 Under 40; Stand-alone medical buildings; NFPA 92; Specialty fire suppression; Applying 90.1 in lighting design
2016 Product of the Year Finalists: Vote now; Data center Q&A; LED codes; Smart buildings
Fire pump power system design: How to design safe, reliable fire pump power service; Water management in commercial buildings; Emergency egress, illumination
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices
Understanding transfer switch operation; Coordinating protective devices; Analyzing NEC 2014 changes; Cooling data centers
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
click me