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!


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: for “Solutions for Machine Safety”.

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Choosing controllers: PLCs, PACs, IPCs, DCS? What's best for your application?; Wireless trends; Design, integration; Manufacturing Day; Product Exclusive
Variable speed drives: Smooth, efficient, electrically quite motion control; Process control upgrades; Mobile intelligence; Product finalists: Vote now; Product Exclusives
Machine design tips: Pneumatic or electric; Software upgrades; Ethernet advantages; Additive manufacturing; Engineering Leaders; Product exclusives: PLC, HMI, IO
This article collection contains the 5 most referenced articles on improving the use of PID.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security

(copy 5)