Manchester-Encoded Safety Airport Lounge

En route to Hanover I am spending some hours in the Manchester (UK) airport… too many, actually, but more than enough time to read and ponder a Briefing in Friday’s ARCwire on HIMA’s Safety Systems.  In the last paragraph this bit causes me to wonder: “HIMA offers open integration solutions based on common hardware and software standards…”  After research on the Hima website, I concluded that their network is proprietary, but they have gateways to open standards.  Apparently that provides an “open integration solution” which is marketing-speak for “our network is proprietary but we will allow selected interfaces to open standards.”  

It looks to me like this creates the need for two networks: a standard logic network and a safety network.  This means two PLCs, two sets of tools, and two networks.  Ouch.  PROFIsafe allows one PLC, one set of tools, and one network.  What gain would a user achieve that is worth the extra expense for the safety PLC, safety tools, safety network, and additional spare parts, additional training, and additional maintenance?

Stop now unless you want to share my traveling pain.  The journey thus far:

Smooth flight into O’Hare.

Taxi to waiting pad (our gate is still occupied).

Get assigned a new gate (the plane at our gate is staying there for repair).

Reach new gate… almost – wait 20 minutes while equipment is cleared out of the way.

Reach gate really.  The jetway is broken.

Re-stow luggage, re-seat all.

Push back from gate.

Proceed to new gate.

It works!  We get off!  (Only 55 minutes after landing.)

“Joys” of traveling rant is now concluded.

Smooth journey to Manchester.