Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Prepare for PLC Shutdown

Preparing For and Stopping PLC Shutdowns. 

PLC failure rates

In preparation for machine and even plant shutdowns due to PLC failure, engineers tirelessly search for the ever elusive PLC MTBF rate (Mean Time Between Failure). As this blog post and associated more detailed article point out ... Stop wasting your time searching for PLC MTBF. Instead approach the root of PLC controller failure by looking at the why and what to better prepare for increased reliability, what parts to stock, etc., to reduce PLC failure related downtime.

WHY PLCs Fail? (From most likely to least.)

#1 Factor:   Environment
#2 Factor:   Brand/Model
#3 Factor:   Electrical Design supporting PLC
#4 Factor:   PLC Management

WHAT PLC Part Fails? (From most likely to least.)

  • PLC output modules
  • PLC input modules
  • PLC communication modules
  • PLC power supply
  • PLC processor module

All Equipment Failure (physics)

  • Mechanical devices are more likely to fail than electrical,
  • Electro-mechanical devices are more likely to fail then solid-state devices,
  • High current devices are more likely to fail than low current devices.
To read details about the above, see ...
This article answers the question... What are PLC controller failure rates? It also covers equipment failure rate from a PLC failure rate perspective (automation controller).

Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Electric Actuators-Safety

4 Industrial Safety Solutions for Electric Actuators

4 Industrial Safety Solutions for Electric Actuators.
By Progressive Automations

According to statistics, the number of fatal injuries at the workplace is declining. Preliminary data* for 2012 reports that there are almost 2,000 fewer fatal injuries at the workplace than there were in 1992  - down to 4,383 from 6,217. That isn't to say we've made it to the golden age of safety, we can now offer up three cheers and throw our safety helmets into the air while the machines are running. In fact, this data begs the question ‘how can we further increase industrial safety among workers?’ This is where electric actuators and industrial safety solutions come in.

It’s hard to think of a manufacturing industry that doesn't make use of electric actuators, but if you don’t have enough information about these systems, it can be surprisingly easy to make an honest mistake in which the least of consequences is losing your sanity during the worker’s claim process. Nobody wants to see injuries on the job happen, so we've compiled this list of electric actuator safety solutions designed to inform workers and managers in industrial settings.

Safety Solution #1: IP Rating
Know your IP rating. Electric actuators follow the IP Rating system for Industrial Instrumentation. Any electric actuator used in an industrial setting must have an IP rating of IP54 at the very least. If not, you might as well get your pen ready for that worker’s claim. IP54 (Ingress Protection) means your system has a protection rating of 5 and 4. This will protect your fingers from getting caught in the component and from most dust, but won’t protect you if you dunk it in water or take a swim with it.
Knowing what you can and cannot do with and around your actuators may just prevent an unnecessary injury. 

Safety Solution #2: PPE
Just because your car has a seat-belt and an airbag doesn't mean you should careen down the road at four times the speed limit with your head out the window screaming, “It’s okay! I’m wearing a seatbelt!” Same goes for industrial safety. You might feel like a dork wearing safety glasses, but you'd feel like even more of a dork if you lost an eye. Wear your PPE. PPE for any electric actuator includes proper gloves, eyewear and forethought before taking any action. If an electric actuator is rated for that particular system, the unexpected can still happen. After long periods of use (months or years depending on the quality), these components can become more likely to fail.

Safety Solution #3: General Maintenance
Maintenance for electric actuators takes almost no work at all when you put it up against a pneumatic or a hydraulic actuator. If the entire system has been installed correctly, the only thing you should have to worry about is normal wear and tear, and lubrication. If you’re concerned about lubricating your actuator, don’t know how or aren't sure how to tell if it needs lubrication, contact your manufacturer, and they should be able to inform you on the process.

Safety Solution #4: Prevent Project Failure
One of the most common reasons for project failure is improper loading. Since gravity is a force that will take precedence for the foreseeable future, we must obey it. That means that if you've side loaded or off-centered your electric actuators, the time it takes for normal wear and tear to affect your component is accelerated. For lead screw actuators, the screw can rub up against the housing of the mechanism, wear away at a faster rate than is normal and cause failure at a moment when you’re not expecting it. This is simply a case of measure twice and cut once. Just be sure that everything is level and that you know what to expect from your actuators before you hit that ‘on’ switch.
The statistics for workplace safety have been showing a positive trend over the past decade, but without proper education and implementation of new and already-existing procedures for safety, those statistics don’t take on much meaning – not to mention they'll start to look a lot worse again. If you work with something that moves, chances are that you’re working with actuators. Take a step toward industrial safety solutions for your industry, and educate yourself, your coworkers and your employees.

*Preliminary data does not necessarily reflect the actual numbers.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2013. 


Progressive Automations manufactures and distributes affordable, high-quality automation products all across North America. As they continually strive to keep their name synonymous with new, innovative technology, they place an unsurpassed value on customer service and mutual benefit. 

Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Free Lean Manufacturing Training

Free Lean Manufacturing Training

"Lean manufacturing success requires  top-to-bottom understanding and commitment to the  lean transformation and that requires training." (by Bill Gaw)
Free Lean Manufacturing Training by Bill Gaw

Leader in lean manufacturing implementation Bill Gaw, not states continuous Lean raining is the key to success, he provides a wealth of free Lean Manufacturing training below. So valuable, we decided to share with you.
Strategic Planning 1 of 2 Strategic Planning 2 of 2
Materials Requirements Planning Lean Manufacturing
Performance Management The Balanced Scorecard
Recourse Management * Kaizen - 5Ss
Supply Chain Management 1 of 2 Supply Chain Management 2 of 2

Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

G+ Industrial Communities

The Best G+ Industrial Communities...

Click link below to visit, then while at community, click Join community.
1,357 members
1,451 members
1,350 members
1,010 members
412 members
521 members
Manufacturing News
365 members
Industrial Automation
252 members
Manufacturing Professionals
225 members

173 members
244 members
Materials and Manufacturing
273 members
SCADA Security
302 members
Control Engineering and Automation
361 members
Oil and Gas contractors
218 members
American Welding Society
387 members
Electrical Training ✰
186 members
136 members
Industrial Safety
166 members
Automation World
126 members
60 members
Reliability Engineering
43 members
Conveyor Automation
88 members
Process Excellence Network
78 members
Lean manufacturing
89 members
Industrial Maintenance
94 members
PLC Training
87 members
Women Engineers
23 members
Commercial & Industrial Boilers
61 members - Private

Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!