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Slideshow: Plant Safety Takes Center Stage in Factory Automation

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TJ McDermott
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Re: Who will maintain these systems?
TJ McDermott   1/30/2012 10:42:43 AM
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Oh, I agree, and understand the concept, naperlou.  The reality is a complicated computer network on top of regular electrical troubleshooting.  The self-diagnosis goes only so far, and then a human must begin tracing the circuits, which will include Ethernet problems on top of simple switch or relay failures.

The wages offered for such a skill set simply aren't enough to retain a good maintenance technician.

naperlou
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Re: Who will maintain these systems?
naperlou   1/30/2012 10:37:56 AM
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TJ, I think the idea is to make these systems modular and self diagnosing.  Putting intelligence into the safety system components will help the maintenance team cope with more complex systems.

TJ McDermott
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Who will maintain these systems?
TJ McDermott   1/30/2012 10:13:00 AM
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In my experience, I've seen factory maintenance skills gradually decline, and with it the education/knowledge necessary to keep the factory running.  This is not a slam against the workers, but against management policies and wages offered.

The result of the lowest-cost is best policy is that the maintenance department no longer has the skills necessary to monitor and troubleshoot modern networked safety systems.

TJ McDermott
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Re: Worker safety a must
TJ McDermott   1/30/2012 10:08:34 AM
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It sounds like a fancy way of saying light curtains, or laser area scanners.

Jennifer Campbell
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Re: Worker safety a must
Jennifer Campbell   1/30/2012 9:35:24 AM
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Rob: I'd be very interested to read more about ExpertOperator, as well. How did you learn about it?

Beth Stackpole
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Worker safety a must
Beth Stackpole   1/30/2012 6:25:32 AM
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Rob: Thanks for spotlighting what appears to be a wide range of technologies promoting increased safety on the plant floor. One in particular that I'm curious about is the second slide on ExpertOperator. What exactly is a virtual safety wall that can surround equipment? Hadn't heard of that capability before.

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