A new international standard has been published for the design, manufacture, and testing of electro-sensitive protective equipment for safeguarding machinery. The guideline, issued by the IEC, covers opto-electronic devices, such as light curtains and light-beam devices. Many machines have such devices to sense whether a person is hazardously close. The new standard covers only the functioning of the electro-sensitive protective equipment and how it interfaces with the machine. It does not specify the dimensions or configurations of the detection zone and how it relates to hazardous parts for any particular application. Nor does the standard specify what constitutes a hazardous state for any machine.
Last year at Hannover Fair, lots of people were talking about Industry 4.0. This is a concept that seems to have a different name in every region. Iíve been referring to it as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), not to be confused with the plain old Internet of Things (IoT). Others refer to it as the Connected Industry, the smart factory concept, M2M, data extraction, and so on.
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