Smart safety simplifies system
Due to the nature of the saw line, safety and guarding was a key priority for the mill. Safety technologies have advanced significantly, improving safety compliance, machinery productivity, and performance. AKD worked with Rockwell Automation and their distributor NHP Electrical Engineering Products (NHP) to leverage the latest smart safety solutions at the mill.
A high level of machine guarding is required at the mill to restrict operator access while the saw line machinery is in operation. The most appropriate choice for this application was the latest Guardmaster® 442G Multifunctional Access Box (MAB). The MAB is an integrated access control and guard locking device which provides a complete safeguarding solution for full body access applications. It is TUV certified to PLe performance level and with Ethernet/IP connectivity, hardwiring was not required which made commissioning seamless.
“Using the new MABs with safety over Ethernet simplified installation and commissioning. It reduced the requirement for additional safety devices and also the risk involved with having to commission multiple hardwired safety devices,” explained Wicks.
The smart safety solution at AKD provides new insight into the mill’s operational status. By capturing rich diagnostic information, safety and operational data can be used to substantially improve safety compliance and performance. “The integrated smart safety solution provides all the data needed to create a comprehensive picture of the status of the mill,” said Matthew Treeby, account manager, Rockwell Automation. “The whole system at AKD is moving towards a Connected Enterprise, generating safety and operational data to help improve productivity and reduce downtime at the mill.”