Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Siemens launches Answers for Industry sessions in Toronto

October 20, 2009
By André Voshart

Siemens Canada launched its first in a series of Answers for Industry events in Toronto today, presenting seminars on embedded automation, industrial wireless technology, micro automation and safety-integrated solutions throughout the day.

Manufacturing AUTOMATION sat in on the Safety Integrated session (the only half-day session, whereas the rest took place four times per day), which was hosted by Siemens safety product specialist Jim Grube, who started things off with an introduction to safety technology.

“Safety is required for many different reasons, especially [when it results] with injury or death of persons or destruction or damaging of production facilities,” he said. “In today’s economics, there are fewer people to do the job, and if that person is injured, you may have to shut down the machine.”

During the tough economic times, the world of safety hasn’t stood still — so even as plants experience excessive downtime, safety requirements have increased. Grube overviewed the ways to keep machines safe, and then explained how the company’s safety technology addresses the concerns of machine manufactures and operators/end users — so it remains flexible and expandable throughout its life cycle.


Grube moved on outlining how safety fits in every stage of the machine development and lifecycle: design and engineering; installation and commissioning; and modernization and upgrades. Additionally, he provided live demonstrations to help guide those in attendance through their solution portfolio.

Grube explained to the audience how a safety PLC, safety-rated Fieldbus and safe drives combine to form a completely integrated safety solution that reduces engineering time and provides improved diagnostics. The talk was technical and information, with the presenter eager to answer all audience questions.

After Toronto, the event heads to Quebec City (Nov. 5), Montreal (Nov. 11) and Vancouver (Nov. 24). (Click the cities to get event location details.)

Don Liddle, Siemens Canada’s manager of marketing services, says the reason for the cross-country events is to educate industry about the solutions the company offers. “Sometimes our systems are complex and you need training to understand their capabilities,” and the company offers further education opportunities once a participant wants to know more.

Safety, he says, is an important trend in today’s marketplace, and the half-day safety session (and live demos) has been developed and honed in other countries prior to its arrival in Canada. As for the quarter-day events, “The shorter sessions allow people to experience multiple technologies and get a higher level of understanding of how the technologies can increase productivity.”

Based on four different machine concepts — from compact to highly flexible — Grube presented the diversity of our solutions. According to Siemens, machine builders and integrators will benefit from safety technology from a single source. The decisive advantage for machine manufacturers and system operators is that safety integrated facilitates the realization of safe and productive machine concepts with minimum efforts and at reduced costs — no matter which safety task you need to perform.

Improved efficiency
• Reduced variety of types due to a single system for standard and safety automation
• Reduced costs due to a single bus and engineering system for standard and safety technology

Increased productivity
• Reduced downtimes due to fast troubleshooting and extensive diagnostic functions
• Fast restart after required system modifications

• Modular safety systems
• Wireless safety
• Failsafe drives without encoders

Support throughout the entire machine life cycle
• Consulting on application of safety-related standards
• Comprehensive training programs
• Global presence with on-site services and support

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