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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 7:24:17 PM
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Rob, I can buy what you say.  But to make the predictive systems themselves work, you need a highly trained operator/programmer/(Engineer?).  Companies do not offer enough compensation for the skill level required to maintain the maintenance system.

Tim
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Re: Safety as a product
Tim   1/30/2012 7:33:22 PM
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Safety as a product goes back to the Saw Stop table saw technology that was looked at last year.  That is a product that people pay a premium for just for the extra safety.  Consumers also pay a premium to for extra safety features in vehicles. 

jmiller
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Re: Who will maintain these systems?
jmiller   1/30/2012 9:03:44 PM
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It's unfotunate that there are so many activities like this that are critical but costly and don't necessarily result in a visible bootm line benefit so it's easy to short cut and not spend the money that needs to be spent. 

Companies say safety is important but rarely spend the money to have top notch servicers that can maintain the equipment.

 

Alexander Wolfe
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Re: Safety as a product
Alexander Wolfe   1/31/2012 12:30:39 PM
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Saw Stop is a perfect example, Tim, Chuck Murray did an article on it last year, to which I refer everyone: Sawstop Inventor Still Struggling to Save Fingers.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Who will maintain these systems?
Rob Spiegel   1/31/2012 3:14:40 PM
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Yes, you're right about that, TJ. Some automation vendors (as well as machine producers) are offering maintenance services to their customers. I'm not sure whether that brings down the price (they say it does), and I'm not sure how much this model is getting adopted.

Charles Murray
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Re: Safety as a product
Charles Murray   1/31/2012 8:55:14 PM
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I agree, Tim. Consumers will definitely pay for such features if their own safety is at risk. Interestingly, employers won't always pay for that safety unless unless they are potentially deemed liable.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Safety as a product
Rob Spiegel   2/1/2012 3:38:08 PM
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You're right about that, Chuck. I worked briefly at a stamping plant that had stamping machines that required you push two button to activate the stamp action -- thus making sure your hands were out of the way. However, if you didn't hold the sheet metal in position, there were stamping errors. So, they asked employees to hold the metal in position and push one of the two buttons with your forehead.

Charles Murray
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Re: Safety as a product
Charles Murray   2/1/2012 7:43:00 PM
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That's amazing, Rob. I wonder if those stamping machines enjoy the same legal situation as table saws, i.e., "use it at your own risk." In legal cases involving table saws, lwyers hav traditionally argued that users understand the propensity of sharp to edges to cut.  

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Safety as a product
Rob Spiegel   2/2/2012 11:39:34 AM
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That was a long time ago, Chuck. My guess is that stamping plants can't get away with those dangerous shortcuts any longer. OSHA is much stronger now than it was back then.

Ozark Sage
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Silver
Re: Safety IP
Ozark Sage   2/2/2012 3:15:15 PM
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Rob I wonder how or what you and the other blogers personally think the various generated software will cause in the IP realm (other than increased legal cost)? 

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