Yes, and there is also a lot of confusion about what integrated safety actually means. Is it on the same cable, but separate? That's a common solution. Run it on the same bus, but it is actually separate from control. That gives you efficiency while you still get church/state separation. The big vendors are now offering true integration of safety and control. Apparently that allows for more diagnostics and even greater efficiency. For some control engineers, however, this makes the hair on the back of the neck stand up.
I agree with you 100% Sgt Rock. We not only need industry wide standards we need a common understanding (training?) on what those standards are. I've been in a number of situations where a customer will quote some version of a safety standard as mandatory but have no clue what it means or what options are to be included.
I agree that the use of integrated safety systems is gaining both acceptance and use but I believe that it is still in it's infancy. This concept is a true blessing to both the manufacturer and the end user. Unfortunately I also believe that this causes a great deal confusion for that end user when they move towards implementation. Most of the confusion is caused during the interpretation of the safety statutes and regulations. This results from the differing expectations of the many governmental agencies involved. As an industry we need to work together and push for standardized regulations which ideally would include the many wonderful concepts and innovations listed in the article. Why is it acceptable in one country to have an e-stop located inside a safety enclosure; say, for a robotic palletizer, but it's not okay here in the USA. Agreeably I don't think it makes good sense to have it located there, but again there needs to be an industry wide push for standardization so that we can take advantage of these tools.
Integrated safety has come a long way to acceptance in just the last few years. The city/state separation between safety and motion control has broken down, which frees plant managers to deploy more efficient systems.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.