A motor control center (MCC) is an assembly to control some or all of the electric motors in a central location. With the emergence of the Industrial Internet of Things and the dawn of better, faster technology, smart motor control centers are beginning to come to the forefront as credible alternatives to standard MCCs. Below, we’ll walk through the basics of smart motor control centers. Also, we’ll discuss how a smart motor control center improves upon the functionality of a standard control center and how they can help your business for years to come.
Manufacturing companies invest millions in human and equipment in the bid to achieve peak productivity and profits. Achieving monthly revenue targets may be the most vital factor when it comes to procurement of such assets, there are certain factors that can drastically affect the workings of a company. By investing in machinery, tools, personnel, etc. companies open themselves up to greater level of risks. Small mistakes can have wide ranging consequences that can affect the company’s reputation within the market.
The value of Machine Safety extends far beyond safe plant operations and reduced compensation costs. The concept is essentially a kick-starter for productivity and innovation, while simultaneously providing worthy data that can be used to gather insights into operations. There are multiple ways in which installation of machine safety apparatus – software and hardware – can sharpen the competitive edge of an organization.
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 Aging and outdated technologies in plants are frequently in need of upgrades and repairs, which can contribute to significant delays in workflow.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 Because DCS is an integral and essential component in day-to-day operations but is also becoming quickly outdated, it is more and more necessary for companies to consider DCS migration, which involves upgrading the system and processes to newer technologies.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.