Machine Safety
Nov. 28, 2016 - Collaborative robots are poised to take off in the next few years, says WSPS consultant Robert Vomiero. With built-in safety limits, sensors and other safety functionality, “cobots” offer exciting benefits — they’re able to work more closely with humans, can be cheaper and easier to integrate and maintain, and promise better cycle time and productivity.
Nov. 15, 2016 - A food manufacturing client required my assistance regarding a “perceived” machine safeguarding issue. “Perceived” is used because up to the point of my involvement, the issue was considered adequately mitigated by the employer. The issue surrounded an already provided access door on a piece of packaging equipment. The door itself was a ubiquitous metal framed clear plastic interlocked door. The minimum starting distance off the floor and overall height of the door complied with CSA Z432 requirements. The provided safety interlock and safety relay was installed and operated as required. So the question remained — what would the “perceived” safety concern be?
Oct. 17, 2016 - Defining safety rules and regulations in motion control applications is a relatively new concept, with standards only recently being officially defined.
Mar. 15, 2016 - Manufacturers in Canada and around the world are facing the prospect of a talent drought as their most experienced workers move toward retirement.
Mar. 15, 2016 - A question I get asked often comes from industrial clientele asking me how they can bring their existing equipment up to existing safety standards. Specifically, they ask about the cost effectiveness and technical requirements of upgrading/replacing/integrating new safety switches forming/part of an interlocked door/access panel/robot guarding perimeter, etc.
Feb. 25, 2016 - Machine and plant engineers must observe functional safety standards, such as ANSI B11.19, EN ISO 13849 and IEC 61508, when they are constructing their equipment. Safety in today’s market has come a long way from the simple, single-function safety relays of the past. Now engineers are left to question what is best for the efficient implementation of the prevailing safety requirements in their process: programmable, network-enabled safety controllers or spatially limited, configurable safety relays?
Feb. 16, 2016 - Machine builders are required to meet certain standards when developing machines for their customers. The goal is to make the workplace safer and increase overall productivity. ISO standard 13489 is one that is currently required for machines being delivered in Europe and is leading the way globally. The standard addresses safety and the reliability of machine control systems and their effects on the risk level to personnel.
Dec. 11, 2015 - Machine safety isn’t what it used to be — thank goodness for that.
Oct. 23, 2015 - It’s a common joke that duct tape can fix anything. We often believe our hands can do the same. When we don’t have a wrench, our hands fit the bill. Can’t get into a location with a standard tool? Our hands can get into the tight spot and fix the problem. When our hands become our universal duct tape, we increase the risk of injury by losing focus.
Oct. 2, 2015 - In an era where functional efficacy has never been more vital, facilities are required to deliver on increased demands. The need for eliminating unplanned downtime, catastrophic breakdowns, and unnecessary maintenance costs in production processes has never been higher. The same is true for ensuring safety of personnel and assets.
Jun. 30, 2015 - Advanced Integration Technology (AIT) is a 20-year-old supplier of turnkey industrial automation systems for the aerospace industry.
Jun. 12, 2015 - One of the big challenges that control systems designers and safety engineers face is the relationship between machinery risk and control system reliability. Machinery safety standards began introducing the idea of control reliability, more often called functional safety, back in the early 1990s. The earliest standards used a prescriptive approach, introducing circuit architectures with names like single channel, single-channel monitored, and control reliable. In the mid-1990s, CEN in the European Union brought in some similar, but slightly different, architectures which were called out as “Category B” and “Categories 1 through 4.” Unfortunately, while this was an important advancement, it also introduced a lot of confusion for designers.
Mar. 27, 2015 - When performing a pre-start review as per section 7 of the Regulations for Industrial Establishments, one needs to identify the measures to be taken to fulfill the requirements of the relevant provision of the regulations identified in the table. The decision that needs to be made is whether or not to provide a protective element that signals that apparatus to stop or to provide a protective element that does not signal a stop. It must be very clearly stated here that the protective elements that signal a stop are not to be considered lockout devices, as the lockout theme is a very broad subject. It should also be pointed out that this article is written within the context of machine guarding i.e. item 2 of the Table.
Nov. 24, 2014 - Finding that fine line between safety and production efficiency is a constantly evolving process. Companies continue to expand their efforts to ensure employee safety and still make gains in their production output.
Oct. 24, 2014 - My husband and I painted the walls and installed new wood trim in our home. Everything was great until the day our friend fell against an open door and it hit the wall behind it, damaging the drywall. Yes, we forgot to replace the doorstop. Unfortunately, another weekend of summertime activities was replaced with spackling and repainting.     
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