While modernization and advances in technology can make life easier for operators and company personnel, it can often be a double-edged sword. Aging and outdated technologies in plants are frequently in need of upgrades and repairs, which can contribute to significant delays in workflow. No example is more relevant today than the problem companies face with their distributed control system (DCS). DCS is a computerized control system for a process or plant with many control loops, in which autonomous controllers are distributed throughout the system. Because DCS is an integral and essential component in day-to-day operations but is also becoming quickly outdated, it is more and more necessary for companies to consider DCS migration, which involves upgrading the system and processes to newer technologies. Below we’ll provide some common practices for DCS migration, weighing out the pros and cons of each.
Because of the rigorous nature of the work and the heavy machinery involved, factories and manufacturing plants can often be dangerous working environments. Therefore, risk assessments - commonly known as the foundation of making a machine safer - are necessary to curb potential hazards. A risk assessment is a logical, step by step breakdown of a machines’ processes, separating all the individual hazards so as to be able to focus on one at a time. As the industry continues to grow and more machines enter the work environment, risk assessments are critical to quell potential hazards and keep workers safe.
While the general population may have an archaic understanding of the inner workings of a factory, the truth is that the smart factory revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, has taken leaps and bounds over the past several decades. The rise of automation and smart technologies are at the forefront of this revolution. However, in recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a mainstay in the future of Industry 4.0. While AI continues to drive automation, manufacturers are now looking at it to promote efficiency in a variety of new avenues.
With the complexities and dangers associated with heavy machinery in a factory or manufacturing plant, it is important to be well-versed in the language of machine safety. Below, we’ll expound on a few key terms that are integral to maintaining safe working conditions.
During the normal course of work, manufacturers must take special care to monitor the safety of the employees, instruments, and processes involved. Therefore, Safety Implemented Systems (SIS) are installed in process plants to reduce the possibility of hazards and return certain processes to a safe state in the case of an emergency. An SIS is used to maintain the safety of one or more Safety Instrumented Functions (SIF) as a safeguard against possible hazards. However, in order to oversee the longevity and safety of an SIS, an appropriate Safety Integrity Level (SIL) must be established. Each hazard that necessitates the use of an SIS must be given a target Safety Integrity Level.
Planning a safety system upgrade can be tricky and can be detrimental to your plant’s productivity. Therefore, it is vital that a clear and concise procedure be followed, right from initial conversion to final validation.
The plethora of communication protocols and exhaustive list of security configurations make IIoT implementations a cumbersome task. However, a major challenge that organizations face is finding the starting point for their IIoT implementations.
The Digital Enterprise architecture is disrupting conventional workflows, changing the ways in which manufacturers operate. Real-time insights, improved collaboration, and digitization of manual processes through technology are some of the emerging concepts entering the decades old workplace culture.
While the industrial world is making regular breakthroughs in the field of intelligence and automation, it still relies heavily on human workforce for day-to-day operations. Several repetitive tasks have already been delegated to robots, which come in a range of sizes, the larger greatly adding to the risk of injury in the workplace. It is therefore vital to have sufficient emergency controls throughout the plant floor to neutralize or minimize damage to human life.
Banner Engineering offers a number of stop devices with respect to this that can greatly reduce workplace accidents and ensure workers' peace of mind.
Two hand controls are safeguarding devices that are used to keep the operator’s hands away from the point of operation. The modules deactivate as soon as the operator removes one or both hands from the mechanism, thus protecting the worker from injuries. This makes them an important piece of safety equipment on a plant floor.
Banner Engineering has a comprehensive offering of two hand safety modules and buttons, meeting the highest of standards while ensuring top-tier sturdiness and reliability.