Wireless and machine safety really can go hand in hand. One Siemens' customer, CAMotion, recently delivered wireless safety system as part of the control system it supplied for a gantry crane. The system connects the safety devices on the crane's moving gantry — including light curtains — back to the system's stationary controller. "It's the first wireless safety system that we're aware of," says Bryant. Why wireless? Hard-wiring the safety systems would have been difficult given the crane's layout. Bryant estimates that the wireless system cost about 60 percent less to install than a comparable wired system. Bryant adds that Siemens' PROFINet and PROFISafe safety communications protocol can run over wireless networks, making the installation possible. For more information go to CAMotion.
Most machine design engineers will survey existing component manufacturers for standard linear guide products, limiting what they can do with their designs. Using extruded aluminum profile guides can customize machine designs while shrinking the bill of materials.
Practically all electronic devices today contain metals that may
be coming from conflict-ravaged African countries. And political pressures will increasingly influence how these minerals are sourced and used in products.
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