Protecting equipment and machinery — and above all, the people who run it — is top of mind for many automation enterprises worldwide, because it makes sense from both an ethical and business perspective. Featured here are some of the latest tools and tactics to keep everything, and everyone, safe and sound.

Controller manages safety functions

The SC22-3 safety controller is an easy-to-configure safety module that incorporates numerous input devices and manages multiple safety-related functions. It replaces a myriad of dedicated modules to integrate E-stop buttons, interlocking switches, safety light screens and mats, two-hand controls, rope pulls, and other such devices. The controller's 22 input terminals monitor contact-based and PNP solid-state input devices, and each input circuit is configurable to monitor an analog input signal or provide 24-Vdc source voltage when needed.
Banner Engineering Corp.
www.bannerengineering.com
(888) 373-6767

Safety specialists unveil new site

This new website includes a fully stocked online shop for easy viewing and ordering of the company's lock-out/tag-out safety devices, which ensure safety by helping workers mechanically enforce lock-out procedures. The redesigned site also includes a new “live support” feature for instant help regarding safety issues. A variety of padlocks, multi-clasp locks, valve and device lockouts, safety signs and tags, and a range of lockout boxes, cabinets, and stations of various sizes are available.
Castell Iso-Lok
www.iso-lok.com
+44 (0)20-8511-1858

Angular gripper guarantees safe assembly

The SWG series of pneumatic angular grippers has added sizes 10 and 12 to its lineup, which now ranges from size 10 to 50. With an opening angle of 15° per finger, and closing and opening times of just a few hundredths of a second, these fast-acting, precise grippers are designed for assembly automation. The low weight of the SWG range (0.11 to 7.51 oz) and the high gripping torque (0.04 to 24.78 lb-in.) enable very high cycles. A spring-loaded grip force safety feature keeps the workpiece securely gripped, even in the event of pressure loss.
Schunk Inc.
www.schunk.com
(800) 772-4865

Seminar analyzes, enhances safety programs

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) will conduct its annual product safety seminar April 21-23 at the Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre in Dallas, Tex. A product liability seminar will follow on April 24. According to AEM, the seminars are the only ones of their kind designed specifically for manufacturers of agricultural, construction, forestry, mining, and utility equipment. Topics include the essentials of an effective product safety program, safety sign and decal development, fire prevention design guidelines, international issues such as the CE Mark and European Union directives, and new ANSI standards for warning materials in owner manuals.
Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)
www.aem.org
(866) AEM-0442

Safeguarding market to reach $2.8 billion

Machine safeguarding is the fastest growing segment of the overall discrete manufacturing automation market, according to a new study from ARC Advisory Group, Dedham, Mass. The worldwide market for machine safeguarding solutions is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 12.5% over the next five years, to reach $2.8 billion in 2011. According to the study, market growth is a direct result of the continued demand for industrial machinery, with the highest growth markets coming from China, Japan, and India. As control ready servos, fluid power, and PLCs emerge across the globe, new safeguarding solutions will increasingly displace traditional safety relays, according to the new report. These and other findings are discussed in the study, Machine Safeguarding Solutions Worldwide Outlook. For more information, call (781) 471-1000 or visit www.arcweb.com.