A Layered Approach to Industrial Automation Safety

A multi-level approach has many advantages for customers seeking a cost-effective, comprehensive safety and standard control and device solution which can also support their IIoT needs. Users can optimize their safety communications solutions, balancing cost, data and speed requirements. These tests were executed in a laboratory environment where in-band interference was controlled. In addition, in this direction, we accurately selected the WiFi channel that showed the lowest traffic. Two meaningful performance indicators were evaluated, namely the percentage of FSoE lost packets and the polling time of the slave. The FSoE stack has been developed and implemented on two different device types, namely a Raspberry Pi board and a PC running the Linux operating system.

These components can be used to realize the most comprehensive range of automation tasks. As the complexity of non-safety related control functions continues to grow, the requirements with respect to safety technology are increasing in the same way. Modern safety technology therefore covers a very broad range of tasks, with appropriate safety solutions required in all areas of automation. System integration can be realized in all application areas with TwinSAFE, effectively ending the historically strict separation of “safety” and “non-safety”. At the same time, TwinSAFE impresses through ultimate flexibility and scalability.

web application security practices

Automated driving systems have the potential to improve efficiency and convenience. When engaged, the system handles all driving tasks while you, now the passenger, are not needed to maneuver the vehicle. The system can operate the vehicle universally – under all conditions and on all roadways. The system can only operate the vehicle in limited service areas, not universally. No amount of documentation related to safety, including a robust safety program, stringent safety rules, or safety procedures, would actually keep employees safe if the employees themselves don’t follow the procedures.

Choosing the Right Motion Control Technology: Maximizing Automation Efficiency

While it is always important to investigate the first two steps, the reality is that for modern automated equipment the next step of applying engineering controls is often where most risk mitigation will be accomplished. While robots allow task(s) to be completed repetitively with accuracy, they are dangerous for people to be working around. As time goes by, we should all be aware that both mindsets are improper and safety does not have to be neglected to have a productive, quality process in place. For example, comprehensive EHR and practice management solutions encrypt all patient health information when it enters the system. If an employee forgets to encrypt the data, it won’t matter because the software takes care of it.

Research by OSHA has found that an effective workplace safety policy directly correlates with a safer workplace. With clear and detailed safety procedures and instructions in place, you can prevent accidents and workplace injuries, thus protecting your workers and ensuring their safety and well-being. In addition to the change to robots, any change to the working environment brings new risks and hazards, according to John Dony, director of the Campbell Institute of the National Safety Council, Itasca, Illinois. “The single biggest thing for employers to consider is appropriate risk analysis and change management procedures when introducing a new piece of equipment, operating procedure or other change,” he said. Dony also noted that involving the workforce directly in these activities—as they are the closest to the risk—is a best practice and, additionally, a great way to engage workers. In the area of drive technology, too, solutions are scarcely conceivable any more without safety functionality.


By instituting effective safety procedures and thus reducing such incidents, you are reducing all these costs as well. An indirect benefit of good safety procedures (and thus a safer workplace) is a boost to your operational efficiency. Employees who know that their health and safety is being prioritized will be more content and productive at work. All this can be mitigated, at least to some extent, with a good workplace safety policy and procedures.

It has been introduced to specifically handle both duplication and re-transmission of FSoE frames, as the legacy UDP protocol cannot perform such functions. It is worth observing that UDPc does not imply modifications neither to UDP, nor to FSoE. To test the performance of FSoE over WiFi, an experimental setup has been prepared where the FSoE master protocol was implemented on the PC, whereas the FSoE slave was the Raspberry Pi board. The network was configured to use the IEEE 802.11n at a rate of 72 Mbits/s in the 2.4 GHz band with the Request To Send/Clear To Send (RTS/CTS) mechanism enabled. Notably, RTS/CTS is usually disabled, when WiFi is used for industrial real-time applications, since it might introduce additional latency.

Beckhoff has therefore integrated safety functionalities in its drive solutions early on, both into standard and compact drive technology. In the area of engineering, the safety and non-safety tools from Beckhoff have already merged, enabling a universal configuration and programming of all applications. With a graphical editor, the TwinCAT Safety Editor simplifies the implementation of safety applications by means of certified function blocks.

Safety over EtherCAT (FSoE, Fail Safe over EtherCAT)

But, added Hindman, the manufacturing community as a whole has not done a particularly good job of making sure that every worker takes responsibility for safety and keeps it in mind every day. Companies need to combat complacency by driving the safety message, possibly using automated systems, and creating a safety culture from the floor itself, he said. Nausley of Promess made the point that integrators also need to ensure—as much as possible—that each new piece of equipment functions similarly when it comes to safety. For example, the method for electrically locking out a station must carry across the entire line. And the more complex equipment gets, the more difficult that [uniformity] becomes,” he said.

Automation of Safety-Related Protocols

In this case, however, it has been used since it contributes to increase communication reliability [28]. Besides the performance indicators discussed in the former section, we address an additional index, namely the Safety Function Response Time (SFRT) which has been introduced for a specific functional safety protocol but may be adopted by FSoE as well. Table 1 lists the CPFs for which functional safety protocols have been defined along with their commercial names. Vaccine rollout is well underway in the U.S., painting a positive picture for the future. Still, it will take time for everyone to be fully vaccinated, and even then, COVID-19 safety protocols could linger for a while.

  • Knowing where all employees are at any given time facilitates easier and more accurate contact tracing.
  • Setting these systems up may be expensive at first, but you gain productivity in the process.
  • The functionality of the TwinSAFE Logic is integrated in all new TwinSAFE components, thus considerably extending the range of potential deployment and application scenarios.
  • Indeed, as we have seen, the behavior of FSoE is strictly related to the protocol stack included in the black channel.
  • The handling of duplicate frames is done by exploiting one of the fundamental features of SPDUs.

If a central safety controller – central from a safety technology perspective – exists, it therefore only has to process the resulting sensor data. Special knowledge for ensuring proper preprocessing is then no longer needed, reducing the complexity of the centralized safety application and https://www.globalcloudteam.com/ in turn simplifying validation and verification of the centralized safety application. Non-safety related automation technology from Beckhoff can essentially be divided into four categories, that is, IPC (control), I/O (input and output), motion (drive technology) and automation (software).

Before creating safety procedures for any task or operation, you should know how the task needs to be performed. If your workers are already performing the task, observe them to understand how it’s done. A further assessment of the FSoE protocol over WiFi was carried out in a noisier environment. Specifically, in this case, the tests were conducted in a laboratory with more people and equipment, where there was no control on the sources of interference. The first one was represented by the use of TCP, whereas the second one still uses UDP but with an additional caching layer inserted between the UDP and the FSoE protocol stacks.

Automation of Safety-Related Protocols

Some older Americans and people with disabilities are able to drive today by adapting or modifying their vehicles to meet their specific needs. Vehicles with partial and full automation could offer new mobility options to many more people, helping them to live independently or to better connect them to jobs, education and training, and other opportunities. Creating and implementing safety procedures, as well as reviewing and updating them regularly can become complex and time-consuming, especially if all of it is done manually.

Automation of Safety-Related Protocols

The power/force limit safety measure also means that the robots have a rounded, soft surface design to decrease the risk of injury. When the pressure is removed an estop effect is generating, opening a safety circuit, and stopping the automated cell instantaneously. By knowing how these safety devices work and installing them in the correct location an automated cell can always allow employees to be protected. Appropriate safety in automated systems should ensure that the potential risk for injuries is at zero for employees.

In many ways, technology has improved workplace safety while also making it easier for businesses to stay compliant. In 2020, NHTSA launched Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing. As part of the AV TEST initiative, states and companies can voluntarily submit information about testing of automated driving systems to NHTSA, and the public can view the information using NHTSA’s interactive tool.

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