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Safety, Security, and Rodney Dangerfield

As I get caught up on my reading, I’ve uncovered an article with many PTO members quoted: “Safe-motion choices” in the March issue of Control Engineering.  PROFIsafe brings the most experience to the “safety on the regular fieldbus” game.  As with a regular fieldbus, safety-on-the-fieldbus brings the installation advantage of easier wiring and, more importantly, the major cost savings of minimizing downtime.  And because everything is on one bus, there is only one set of configuration and diagnostic tools to learn.  We cover PROFIsafe in every one-day training event we do.  Check to see if we’ll be bringing a class to your city here.

You have to love the article title over at Plant Services magazine: “Machine safety systems ease troubleshooting, expedite repairs and improve safety.”  The title is a very succinct description of the benefits of PROFIsafe et al.

Security in Vegas… er, in the Plant: “What Happens in Plant Stays in Plant” in InTech’s March issue.  Security is certainly an important topic with the advent of Industrial Ethernet.  This article and a recent Automation World webinar talk about a DMZ separating IT and control functions.  I don’t think these involve machine-gun-armed robots like Samsung created for Korea’s DMZ.  For our part, we have created a Security Guideline for PROFINET – no machine guns in this either.

Rodney Dangerfield gets quoted in the current issue of IEEE’s The Institute in an article titled “Getting Automation Some Respect.”  The article is about raising the awareness of Automation to the general public.  It also touts the new IEEE journal: Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering.  I don’t subscribe as it sounds a little too far out for me (i.e., beyond the practical) and the definition of automation extends into home and building automation.

I need a well-supported network” was the plea for help from a reader of Control Design. This released the floodgates of network information as many of the network proponents responded.  Of course, PROFIBUS and PROFINET are part of the flood.  My first point in the response was to choose to use a network over hard wiring point-to-point.  My second point was that PROFIBUS and PROFINET are well-supported globally including 34 certified competence centers.  (Update: there are 35 now.)  And of course we have more products available than any of the other choices, Kepten.

Random Interesting Site of the Day: A Sightseer’s Guide to Engineering, spotted in IEEE Spectrum magazine.