MRO Magazine

Machinery and process safety rules to change in world of mechatronics, says Siemens

Mississauga, ON -- May 14, 2002 -- A new integrated industrial safety program covering all aspects of industrial au...

Mississauga, ON — May 14, 2002 — A new integrated industrial safety program covering all aspects of industrial automation was announced at a press conference yesterday by Siemens Canada.

Calling it “the most comprehensive program available from any source today,” senior vice-president Guenter Brecheis noted that the initiative is in response to what he described as a paradigm shift in industrial technology that will benefit from the company’s leadership in integrated safety.

“In the area of safety, we are at a paradigm shift. In the machinery and process worlds we are moving away from mechanical to electronic devices. Our customers understand the benefits of the dramatic shift to mechatronics, as the merger of mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic with electronics is called. The result is new devices that are more electronic than mechanical. Safety products must work in this new mechatronic world.”

Combining Siemens safety deveices and technology products, many of which can be embedded in standard automation devices, will provide the market with an economical alternative to stand-alone safety systems or access to leading technology that can be used on its own, the company reports.


Technology, Brecheis says, has reached a level of sophistication that now supports an integrated approach in what he termed “the realization of the digital enterprise . The result of this is that Siemens is able to provide an integrated, scalable and open safety solution across all industries and across all applications.

“One of our key objectives is to create intelligent system-related, integrated safety involving our whole range of automation and drive products, our process control systems and all related aspects of our business. We have met this objective and are now able to offer to our target customers a fully scalable and integrated safety solution.”

According to Brecheis, customers in Canada expect “that we can deliver more than a product in a box. They are looking for value and the right solution to their complex plant systems. They want technical know-how and understanding of today’s evolving applications. And they want a partner able to understand the complexities of today’s world.”

Brecheis also commented on today’s changing regulatory environment. “The rules of industry are changing. In safety today, the threshold is zero tolerance. Canadian workers should expect to be able to work in safe environments and changing government regulations ensure that there is no other option.

“The same technologies that have produced impressive productivity gains, and opened the door to mechatronics, can be ‘safety integrated’ through the employment of what we are calling revolutionary technologies, such as our Safety PLCs and open safety fieldbuses.”

The Siemens integrated safety program product offering is a comprehensive collection of control devices, PLCs, fieldBus systems, CNC controls and drives.

In his speech, Brecheis identified factors that are driving change in safety technology:

* The rise of leading edge safety technology: Safety PLC and Open Safety Fieldbuses

* Greater intelligence from safety products

* Open architecture fieldbuses, e.g. ProfiSafe and/or AS-I Safety at Work

* Single-source supplier for products, services and solutions – one company to take full responsibility

* A requirement by the market for complete solutions, and

* Compliance with machine functional safety standards.

Brecheis concluded by suggesting that safety will be a key strategic direction for the company. “Our integrated safety program will offer our customers the opportunity to experience productivity gains, enjoy profitability through leading-edge product solutions and establish a high level of prestige by partnering with Siemens,” he said.