IOT solution for machine safety

  • Articles
  • Sep 30,22
With IoT technologies, companies can monitor machines’ operating conditions and external defects and effectively limit machines’ exposure and risks to accidents. Schmersal is working on an effective IoT solution for the industry, which will include some of its new products for machine safety.
IOT solution for machine safety

Having a manufacturing facility in place that allows machines to monitor their own safety in the workplace shows industry 4.0’s potential. This can be made possible by introducing the Internet of Things (IoT), an intelligent technology that leverages AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning capabilities. It can facilitate machines to detect how frequently machine guards have been moved or if they need to be replaced. The advancement of technology creates an environment for a smart workplace.

More about IoT in machine safety
IoT in a space where machines are actively used in the workplace builds the most effective ways to enhance safety. The technology assists companies by improving the majority of their working conditions, including data collection, operation execution, and productivity enhancement.

However, it must be noted that IoT solutions won’t protect the machines entirely in risky industries. But they can alert managers early on, allowing them to address a number of threats and prevent them from happening.

With IoT technologies, companies can monitor machines’ operating conditions and external defects and effectively limit machines’ exposure and risks to accidents.

Let’s see how IoT brings in solutions for machine and worker safety to provide a secure working environment.

Monitoring safe work with IoT sensors
IoT sensors and solutions enable the collected data to be analyzed efficiently. The sensors monitor workers’ conditions in real-time when they perform hazardous activities or work at such locations.

The three fundamental components of IoT sensors are:

  • A localisation service is in place to estimate the worker’s position that needs to be shared in emergency scenarios.
  • An indirectly connected warning system works by exchanging relevant information about environmental and worker conditions.
  • A state estimation tool that estimates anomalous situations.
  • Tracking the use of machine guard and safety switch gears
    IoT-based smart devices are able to figure out the trail of breadcrumbs that points out to some bigger issues influencing the company’s production. For instance, suppose a company’s production manager detects high usage of an interlocked guard door which is interfering with the seamless production process. Further on discussing the issue with the operators, the manager might find out that they are frequently opening the interlocked door to fix a malfunctioning device and they need to either repair or replace it as soon as possible to fix the problem.

    Use of advanced data analytics
    With advanced data analytics, companies can come up with better business decisions. They can equip IoT devices to process complex data and implement solutions. The augmented devices with smart capabilities enable safety systems to reach the next level. For instance, companies might use computer vision frameworks to inspect companies for safety risks. It can fnd anomalies even from the vibrations of machines in use.

    Schmersal is working on an effective IoT solution for the industry, which will include some of its new products for machine safety:

  • SFB with Safety field bus
  • Safety light curtains with Bluetooth
  • AZM 201 Solenoid interlock
  • PSC1 control system with Standard and Safety field bus
  • Identifying the risks beforehand
    IoT devices collecting safety data for a long period enables companies to track the machine performance over time. With these insights, managers can predict when a particular device will not be able to run in the near future. As the IoT services use data on machines’ usage or age, the prediction tends to come up as accurate in the majority of cases.

    Thus, maintenance staff would be able to replace the devices prior to their failure. Also, it ensures that device replacement takes place under the planned maintenance downtime.

    The smart machine would detect any wear in the device, recommend a replacement period, and place an order for delivery of a new part.

    The bottom line
    IoT for machinery safety automatically ensures long-term safety for the entire workplace as well. The smart sensors and devices in the workplace analyse data and use it to build safety strategies and occupational health for employees. Companies not investing in IoT solutions are missing out on the opportunity to save operational significant costs and time. Whether it’s about taking care of machinery or human workers at an organisation, IoT can be beneficial in transforming the work environment.

    Courtesy: Schmersal

    Fourth Industrial Revolution
    Industry 4.0 is the name of the fourth major revolution in the history of industry. This involves the digitalisation of industrial production and thus the connecting of people, machines and products with the help of information and communication technology. In the following, the essential aspects of Industrie 4.0 are roughly described:

    In order for the objects involved in the production process to be able to communicate with each other, they are equipped with storage media, communication solutions and sensors, as well as being connected to the Internet (Internet of things – IoT). Through this digital monitoring of all objects, large amounts of data (Big data) are collected and analysed. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible to recognise patterns and react independently.


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