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Coding the safety of your workers

04 March 2019

In 2017, a report by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed over 60,000 non-fatal injuries happened to workers in the UK’s manufacturing sector. With automation and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies becoming more prevalent, this figure is expected to decrease dramatically as the number of potential risks to plant workers falls.

Here, Emolice explains how motion control components can improve both worker and functional safety

Safety of both workers and a system or piece of equipment remain top of the agenda for many plant engineers, particularly for those working with new technologies that they have minimal experience of. While for many years safety resided with single components, such as light curtains and relays, automation and the creation of the ‘smart factory’ has enabled the evolution of plant safety to a system-level process. One technology that is doing this in particular is the encoder. 

Found in equipment across an array of industries, encoders are sensing devices that convert motion to an electrical signal that can be read by a motion control system, such as programmable logic computers (PLC). The encoder transmits a feedback signal, which allows the operator to determine the speed, direction and position of the chosen application. The control device in the motion control system can then use this information to send a command for a particular function, including the motion of a motor shaft, pulley or even robot arm. 

Read the full article in the March issue of DPA

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