How safe are your operations?

Sept. 1, 2003
Safe at home. What a great image of finishing the travails of surviving on the bases and now chalking up the score and seeking the safety of the dugout.

In manufacturing, it’s when you have designed a process and assessed and mitigated risks in order to provide a safe environment for equipment, data and employees.

This month’s Automation World focus is safety and security. In the following pages, we look at how standards are guiding engineers in designing safer processes and analyzing potential risks. Along the way, we point out how businesses can also increase productivity and reduce costs through improved safety processes.

Abnormal situations occur when disturbances cause a plant to deviate from its normal state. Proper management avoids a critical condition or even a catastrophe. See the full story on page 22.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a process plant or discrete manufacturing. When new equipment appears, the potential hazards and methods for mitigating them had better be determined and documented. See some ideas on page 28.

Safety programmable logic controllers rely on redundant processing architectures to provide fail-safe or fault-tolerant control, while also helping manufacturers cut costs. Some examples are found on page 32.

The Internet industry is trying a new approach to clear up the log-in logjam. For manufacturers, it could have implications for online support, supply chain management and other e-commerce activities. The need to log on to multiple sites, often remembering different user names and passwords, begins to rival finding parking spots at the mall in frustration quotient. Here are some solutions starting on page 36.

Given the global necessity to get products to markets more quickly and on demand, nothing is as crucial as the safe, uninterrupted operation of a manufacturing facility. U.S. and international standards organizations are addressing a variety of hot-button issues, ranging from functional safety in process industries to safety in robotics and integrated manufacturing systems. Some details are in an article beginning on page 40.

These articles provide the information that can guide you around the bases safely.