Machine Safety

An ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis, operating efficiencies and cost savings, as well as all relevant safety standards, such as those from NFPA, ANSI, RIA, IEC, ISO and OSHA. About J.B. Titus.

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What's Up With Wireless Safety? Comment: Failsafe, Yes, But a Nuisance?

July 13, 2009


Wireless communication has been around for several years, experiencing many ups and downs. Today - it’s largely considered just another communications bus with its own set of design and application criteria. Its maturity and acceptability has now created the launching pad for adding safety functionality over wireless. A handful of suppliers have recently shown some new products and claiming the possibility of significant savings via wireless communication with safety while simultaneously maintaining safety compliance. These wireless applications even include such safety related features as “stop” and “emergency stop”. Even our standards community is beginning to respond with updated application requirements following trends originating in Europe.

Are we in the U.S. really ready? Are you ready? What does your local OSHA representative have to say about these new developments? Do you want to continue your current higher cost application in these economic times?

Let’s hear from you!

Posted by J.B. Titus on July 13, 2009

COMMENT

September 2, 2009

In response to: What's Up With Wireless Safety?Jeff S commented:

 

I believe that some safety protocols (e.g. CIP Safety) have been able to demonstrate that they can achieve safety over wireless due to their ability to fail-safe if the wireless channel is compromised. I think the better question is whether the wireless media can insure reliable enough operation for a given application without significant nuisance tripping? It still falls to the user to determine what is right for their application and to fully understand the risks and opportunities of a wireless implementation versus a wired implementation.



For more than 30 years, J.B. Titus has advised a wide range of clients on machine functional safety solutions, including Johnson + Johnson, Siemens, General Motors, Disney, Rockwell Automation, Bridgestone Firestone, and Samsung Heavy Industries. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Oklahoma University in industrial management and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University in marketing and finance. He is a professional member of the American Society of Safety Engineers and is OSHA-certified in machine guarding. Titus is also TUV-certified as a Functional Safety Expert and serves on several American National Standards Institute, National Fire Protection Association, and National Electrical Manufacturers Association national safety and health standards committees. Reach him at jb(at)jbtitus.com and via www.jbtitus.com.