Drives and Control Solutions

Motors, Control Solutions, Power Transmission and Advanced Motion Technology                                                                 

December 3, 2019

by Linda Caron, Global Product Manager

As an engineer, the responsibility to adopt not just the latest, but the safest technologies, never goes away. Protecting people and machinery has become, quite simply, industry’s number one priority. Safety first. Always.

Factory automation is certainly no exception. Here, major advances have fuelled a greater focus on smarter controls and increased integration of smart devices and safety componentry. Included in this are the latest pneumatic solutions, which nowadays form a core part of safety controls for implementing the preventative technical measures needed to ensure machine safety, including clamping, blocking, exhausting and holding equipment in place.

But hold on a moment, what actually classifies a product as a safety component? Well, as with all things related to machine safety, the best place to find out is the Machinery Directive, which states that a product is deemed to be a safety component when it is tested and verified to provide a specific safe function for a pre-determined period of time in a given state. 

The Machinery Directive also offers a clear distinction between safety devices and standard pneumatic components deployed in a safety circuit. Notably, the term ‘safety component’ does not imply the actual reliability or safety level of the component. Those products offered as safety-rated must undergo stringent requirements for certification, testing, and approval. As a further point, the Machinery Directive does not prescribe the use of safety-rated componentry, it merely provides a description of the conformity assessment procedures to market a product as safety rated.

So, how is it best to determine what level of safety is required? The answer: perform a risk assessment. Three steps are involved here: analysis, evaluation, and reduction. The first step, risk analysis, also requires engineers to estimate risk and determine the performance level required (PLr). 

After the PLr is established the performance level (PL) will need to be calculated based on safety categories that are established in line with factors such as a measure of diagnostic capabilities (DC) for the control system, the meantime to dangerous failure (MTTFD) and common cause failure (CCF). In combination, these inputs will define the level of a given safety function.

In tandem with the strategy set out here, peace-of-mind can, of course, be found by specifying safety-rated products from a reputable supplier. After all, as machine builders will be well aware, the price of non-compliance can be extremely costly.

To discover more about Parker’s factory automation solutions, please see our guide "A Comprehensive Guide to Machine Safety".

Source

 Nexans Webinar - Key 2021 Electrical Code Changes Impacting Wire and Cable  

Nexans Free WebinarJoin NEXANS for a free webinar with Isaac Müller, Applications Engineer for Nexans as he reviews and discusses the changes to the 2021 Canadian Electrical Code related to wire and cable. This free webinar will take place Wed, Jan 27, 2021 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST


This webinar includes:
- Updated rules to protect cables (12-514,12-516)
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- An opportunity to ask your questions

Click here to register today.


 


Editor's Pick: Featured Article


ABB EC TitaniumThe EC Titanium integrated motor drive by ABB promises ‘synchronous reluctance and permanent magnet technologies for a sustainable, wirelessly connected solution that improves customers bottom line.’ According to Global Product Manager, Mark Gmitro, the product was inspired by direct customer feedback requesting an IE5 efficient product, that could function as a drop-in replacement for standard NEMA mounted motors.

As new system efficiency regulations emerged, ABB responded to the demand with the development of the EC Titanium motor, integrated drive, and motor product line. 

Read More


 

Endress+Hauser

More and more measurement instruments are being ordered online from Endress+Hauser. In the first five months of 2020, incoming orders via endress.com nearly doubled. With the introduction of the new FLEX product segmentation structure, integration of the global E-direct portal into the website and further optimization of the e-commerce area on endress.com, finding and ordering the right products online will be even faster and easier for customers.

“By merging both shops and introducing several innovations on endress.com, we are making it even easier for customers to do business with us digitally,” says Nikolaus Krüger, Chief Sales Officer at the Endress+Hauser Group. 

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