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Slideshow: Plant Safety Takes Center Stage in Factory Automation

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apresher
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Benefits and Security Implications
apresher   2/14/2012 5:01:35 PM
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Rob, Below is a link to a recent article from Siemens on the benefits and security implications of using wireless for safety. Not sure how they would answer the specific question you raise, although I suspect that key safety functions are always hard-wired as well.  Good question.

http://www.totallyintegratedautomation.com/2011/12/understanding-benefits-and-security-implications-of-using-wireless-for-safety/

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Benefits and Security Implications
Rob Spiegel   2/15/2012 11:59:14 AM
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Yes, the suppliers seem to be way ahead of the game on this. They are very insistent that safety and control can share the same network without compromising safety. 

apresher
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Software Developments
apresher   2/17/2012 8:55:25 AM
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A huge key moving forward could be continued innovation with software technologies such as the work being done by ODVA with CIP Safety, PROFIsafe and developments such as openSAFETY.  In addition to more powerful solutions, the emphasis on ease of implementation and driving toward more standards could really make a difference in this area.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Software Developments
Rob Spiegel   2/17/2012 2:35:55 PM
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Yes, good points, Apresher. From what I hear, your last point is particularly important. Any implementation that is easy (relatively) and meets standards is looked on favorably. Plants want complex tools that don't require complex programming. Suppliers are getting good at adding complexity to the system without adding complexity for the end user.

apresher
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Agree on Need for Simplicity
apresher   2/23/2012 11:06:03 AM
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Absolutely, Rob, integrating safety more closely into the control software solution versus a separate system should produce solutions that are easier to implement and maintain. Needs to be simple and straightforward.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Agree on Need for Simplicity
Rob Spiegel   2/23/2012 1:23:02 PM
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Looks that way, Apresher. This seems to match a trend I'm seeing in a lot of areas of automation and control. A lot of the complexity is programmed in by the supplier. More and more it seems control technology is plug and play. There seems to be less heavy lifting for the integrator and the plant techs. Devices and systems are getting more complex, while they're getting simpler for the end user.


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