Safety: Feedback on decreasing cost; NMW safeguarding session

By Control Engineering Staff February 23, 2006

Machine safeguarding and safety continue to be of major interest. “Control Integration for Machine Safeguarding” is among safety sessions to be held at National Manufacturing Week. In separate but related news, a Control Engineering reader offers perspective below on how safety standards can decrease costs. January 2006 Control Engineering print edition includes “ How To Assess Risk .” Paul Bodeau, owner of Why Not Engineering , offered the following views on a related commentary in that issue: “ Think Again: How safe? You decide .”

Bodeau says, “You made the point of the resistance to safety and other standards used in industry. Safety standards result in more efficient, and therefore higher quality, development and manufacturing processes. The bottom line is less cost with improved product safety. The problem is that the effort required to overcome the prejudice is prohibitive. I have been in the business for over 25 years. Each new generation of engineers and managers repeats the same behavior as the previous generation. If there’s a way to make these talented people understand the opportunity these standards offer, a revolutionary increase in productivity could result. In the United States, this revolution is necessary, or we may lose our competitive edge.”

Industrial Automation Show at National Manufacturing Week offers multiple conference sessions highlighting safety and safeguarding, including an 11-11:50 a.m. Thursday, March 23 presentation, “Control Integration for Machine Safeguarding.” The non-commercial session “will cover several case studies in the proper application of safety integration at the OEM and end-user levels” and provide designs including circuit examples and the guarding strategies and concepts of actual applications successfully installed at several manufacturing companies. Examples include OEM integration on new machines and several large-scale integration on existing machines. Speaker is Mark Nehrkorn, division manager – safety integration, STI Machine Services .

—Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief, Control Engineering,