Machine & Process Safe-Guarding White Papers and Technical Articles

Articles and white papers on machine and process safe guarding technologies used in the automation, process control, and instrumentation industry.

Some of the following links are PDF documents and require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. Download Acrobat Reader Here.

A Roadmap for a Safe and Productive Plant

Safety has always been a critical measure of success for industrial organizations. Aberdeen Group surveyed more than 230 manufacturing executives to understand how the industry leaders are able to improve productivity without compromising plant safety. This article will highlight the roles business processes and technology play in improving safety and productivity in industrial plants. Read full article.

Dealing With the ATEX Directive

By Gus Elias, Moore Industries
Safety compliance issues and legislation are becoming increasingly complex and detail-oriented, hence more of a burden to manufacturers. This article cannot describe all the minor differences between ATEX and other requirements, but it reviews some of the fundamental differences between North American and European requirements. Read entire article by Moore Industries.

Making safety a priority when employing tool exchange systems

By Applied Robotics
Tool exchange systems on robots should not threaten the welfare of the workers on the factory floor or adversely affect the total output of the production line. Here’s how to make tool exchangers work safely. Click here to read full article...

Global Market Compliance: A Local Approach Eases a Complicated Process

By Udo Heinz & Sky Mehringer, TÜVRheinland
Helping a product achieve global compliance for safety, EMC, documentation, testing and certification is a complicated and time-intensive process. To place a product in other countries, manufacturers must maneuver a complicated maze of compliance requirements. Click here to read full article...

Maintaining a Safe Plant

Joe Kaulfersch, Market Analyst
There is no substitute for proper maintenance – including an initial inspection, verification and periodic inspections and repairs – in plants where there is a danger of fire or explosion. This is true for both safety and economical management reasons. Read full article...

How Safety Light Curtains Work

Safety light curtains are an advanced method of safeguarding personnel around many hazardous machines. Safety light curtains offer freedom, flexibility and reduced operator fatigue when compared with traditional guarding methods such as mechanical barriers, sliding gates and pull-back restraints. By reducing the need, where applicable, for solid guards, safety light curtains simplify routine tasks like machine setup, maintenance and repair. Read full article

Safety on the Factory Floor is Everyone's Business

Accidents can happen at any time, and often where they are least expected. They come from two primary sources, operator misjudgments and equipment hazards. Sufficient operator training can reduce the first type, and well-designed equipment can take care of the second. But some kinds of machinery are inherently dangerous, even when well designed. A risk assessment, risk reduction plan, and safety integration program secures the best possible working environment for the health and safety of your employees. Read full article

Are You Making the Most of Safety Light Curtain Features?

Machine safety was once considered by many to be a hindrance to operational productivity. But when correctly specified, applied and utilized, machine safeguards can virtually disappear from the machine operator’s perspective, while actually increasing productivity by keeping workers safe and maximizing machine uptime. Read full article

The Advantages of Safety Networking over Point-to-Point Wiring for Integrating Multiple Safety Components

Traditionally, point-to-point wiring has been the standard for wiring safety-switching components. Today, a new networking product integrates safety devices into standard PLCs and other higher level networks and provides a system for plants to operate more efficiently while simplifying complex wiring and troubleshooting. This article examines how this new networking method compares to traditional wiring and the advantages of implementing safety networking. Read entire article

Methods of Protection in Hazardous (Explosion Risk) Locations: Containment, Segregation and Prevention (Intrinsic Safety)

In many process automation applications, there is a risk of explosion due to the presence of hazardous particles, gases or vapors. A fault in a process control circuit or system can result in catastrophic loss of life or extreme damage to the facility. The safest way to prevent a fire or explosion is to remove the source of the hazard. However, if this cannot be done the process engineer has three alternatives. Remove the source of ignition, prevent the source of ignition reaching the hazard or ensure that there is no oxidizer present. There are three basic methods of protection — explosion containment, segregation and prevention(intrinsic safety). Read entire article

Voltage Awareness Devices Increase Electrical Safety

Increased awareness and better procedures increase safety. Personnel may still be at risk if there is a failure of the procedures, a failure of an isolation device (disconnect or circuit breaker), or other energy control problems. A voltage awareness device that is wired into electrical panel main isolator and/or other incoming power sources will increase safety for electrical maintenance personnel. Read entire article

A new approach to robotic safety: SafetyBUS p at BMW

Availability, reliability, flexibility and comprehensive diagnostics are the most significant demands placed upon safety systems today. Increasing payloads, work ranges and cycle times of robotic processes necessitate a different approach to safety, particularly other than that offered by conventional safety relays and fencing. The development of fieldbus for safety-related applications and new International and European Standards have fundamentally changed the manner in which safety is now being engineered in the plant. BMW are the first to directly integrate robotic safety functions using a safety-related fieldbus.  Read entire article

Applying Intrinsic Safety for Process Safeguarding

Today's world of increasing process control in potentially explosive atmospheres has forced designers and engineers to specify more efficient and effective ways of protecting personnel from harm and property from damage. Since its initial introduction nearly 50 years ago, intrinsic safety has evolved into a complete system solution including remote I/O (inputs and outputs).   Read this PDF article

Types of Protective Measures

When the risk assessment shows that a machine or process carries a risk of injury the hazard must be eliminated or contained. The manner in which this is achieved will depend on the nature of the machine and the hazard. In basic terms this means preventing any access to the relevant parts while they are in a dangerous condition.  It is important that all aspects of machine use are considered...    Read this PDF article

Process Safeguarding Guide to Hazardous Locations

Hazardous locations and protection methods are defined in this article.  Read this PDF article

Safety Interlocking Principles & Devices

One of the most important types of protective devices is a safety interlock switch which interlocks a guard door with the power source of the hazard. When the guard door is opened, the power is isolated, ensuring that the machine is safe when the operator requires access. There are many variations of interlock switches, each with their own characteristics. It is important to ensure that the type of device chosen is correct for its application. Read this PDF article

Safety Strategy

From a purely functional point of view the more efficiently a machine performs its task of processing material the better it is. Life, however, is not that simple and in order for a machine to be viable it must also be safe. More Info...

Safety Related Control Systems

First of all, what is a safety related control system (often abbreviated to SRCS)? It is that part of the control system of a machine which prevents a hazardous condition from occurring. It can be a separate dedicated system or it may be integrated with the normal machine control system. More Info...

Safety Light Curtain Theory of Operation & Terminology

Safety light curtains are an advanced method of safeguarding personnel around many hazardous machines. Also called light screens, optical guards, and presence sensing devices, safety light curtains offer freedom, flexibility and reduced operator fatigue when compared with traditional guarding methods such as mechanical barriers, sliding gates and pull-back restraints. More Info...

Safety Mats for Machine and Process Safe-Guarding

Presence sensing mats combined with a safety mat controller improve productivity while providing access guarding. Less downtime occurs because it is not necessary to set up or remove mechanical safety barriers during operation and maintenance. More Info...

The Machinery Directive

European safety legislation is significant and far reaching. At first glance, it can seem like just more red tape which compounds the problems of operating in a highly competitive world. The truth, however, is far from this. More Info...