Understanding Machine Safety Analysis In The U.S. (Part 2)

Posted by Karl Schrader on December 18, 2012 @ 11:07 am

Machine Safety is Important to Productivity and Reducing CostsThis trail of breadcrumbs has led us back to ISO 13849-1:2006, Safety of Machinery – Safety-Related Parts of Control Systems. This new standard is the basis for the PL and B10d ratings you see on many safety devices today. The ratings are ranked “a” through “e” in increasing risk to the operator, with “e” being the greatest risk. Within this standard, the EN-954 categories for circuit types survive, but are only part of the implementation. More comm... Continue Reading

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Understanding Machine Safety Analysis In The U.S. (Part 1)

Posted by Karl Schrader on December 11, 2012 @ 11:17 am

A few years ago, I was working with an internal integration group for a manufacturing company which had facilities in many domestic and international locations. One of the initiatives I had undertaken was to redevelop procedures for assessing safety hazards on automated equipment. Safety_WorkPlace_MachineWith the planned adoption of the International Standards Organization document ISO:13849-1:2006, the older EN-954 standard was slated for retraction by the European Standards Organization. Anticipating this retraction, we needed to take another look at our own risk analysis and mitigation procedures in order to maintain complia... Continue Reading

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Who Will Be In Your Control Room In 2016?

Posted by Bill Tolrud on December 5, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

Control SystemsTake a look at the people in your control room: you probably see a lot of gray hair. How many of those individuals are still going to be there in another three or five years? To answer this question, we need to look at the retirement rate of the baby boomers that are now between the ages of 55 to 65. On January 1, 2011, the first baby boomers turned 65. According to a report from the Congressional Research Service, dated January 30, 2008, the retirement of baby boomers will affect the overall economy and our industries until the year 2020. The industries affected most will be those that have been part of the structure of the U.S. industry buildup: steel and primary m... Continue Reading

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OEE and Continuous Improvement: Two Peas in a Pod – Part 2

Posted by John Clemons on November 29, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

In my last discussion on OEE I mentioned that when I’m asked the question “where should I get started with improvements on the shop floor?” I usually answer that OEE is the best place to start. OEE is a tool that helps manufacturing companies improve their bottom line by reducing costs, increasing quality, and increasing productivity.  OEE and Continuous Improvement are like two peas in a pod.  OEE is a tool that supports the Continuous Improvement initiative! The Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) metric is a function of the complete manufacturing system, process line, or individual piece of equipment. The components of OEE are:

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More Than A Story, A Process Narrative Can Define Your Next Automation Project

Posted by Jason Montroy on November 27, 2012 @ 10:55 am

I recently sat down with an automation manager responsible for a subsection of a large manufacturing business. His company is embarking on an effort to standardize the use of process control narratives for all automation projects. To my surprise, the concept of process narratives was new to him. He didn't understand their purpose. But he was intrigued and asked many good questions I was happy to answer.

What is a process narrative? MAVERICK_Blog_Automation

Simply put, a process control narrative is a written description of a manufacturing process that d... Continue Reading

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