Machine safety is paramount in discrete and hybrid manufacturing operations. What role can the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) play in improving safe operations?
In a Plant Engineering article, Pneumatic safety technology and the IIoT, Emerson’s Jeff Welker and Enrico De Carolis share how these IIoT technologies used in pneumatic components can help drive safer and more efficient operations.
They open noting that IIoT in pneumatic technology:
…is becoming even more functional, with new capabilities in tracking and measurement providing even greater insight into machine operation and the performance of components and subsystems. With this additional functionality comes a richer opportunity to also monitor machine safety characteristics and protect people and equipment from harm.
A key safety standard for machines is:
…ISO 13849, which outlines safety requirements and provides guidance on the principles for the design and integration of safety-related parts of control systems.
IIoT enables more sensors to be deployed.
Sensor technology has become smarter, smaller, more lightweight and easier to integrate into a range of pneumatic components, allowing measurement of temperatures, pressures, flow rates, cycle times, valve response rate and so on. Even the simplest devices may at some point be providing some crucial information.
These sensors can feed:
…Industrial IoT gateways that analyze various sensor signals and use the results to generate informative process information.
The article displays a picture of Emerson’s Aventics Smart Pneumatics Monitor which provides this local data collection at the edge with analysis independent of control.
Jeff and Enrico share an example in monitoring a typical machine which may have 15 manifolds with 10 or more valves on each manifold. Just monitoring when they shift is of limited use. Where smart sensors and analytics can help is:
…to monitor the response time of a valve, a parameter that also is used to satisfy the requirements of the ISO 13849 functional safety standard.
Another example where IIoT-based sensors and local analytics can play a large role is to monitor mission time:
…defined by ISO 13849 specifications and calculated using the cycle rate, hours of operation, days of operation and component reliability…a critical parameter for measuring machine safety performance.
Read the article for more on how this information also helps to move toward predictive maintenance, drive energy efficiency and support condition-based monitoring strategies.
Visit the Fluid Control & Pneumatics section on Emerson.com for more on these IIoT-based sensor technologies and operational analytics. You can also connect and interact with other pneumatics experts in the Fluid Control & Pneumatics group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.