Schneider embedded safety drives reduced installation costs.
Making product comparisons is complex and time consuming when considering more than two suppliers. For inverter drives for example, the temptation is to compare prices based almost entirely on the kW rating, mounting method and IP rating. However, according to Schneider Electric, by including embedded safety other benefits are revealed. These include lower installation costs, improved machine performance, and increased in productivity and operator safety.
Embedded safety drives ensure a safer working environment for machine operators by simplifying the safety system. Drives that integrate both control and safety functionality reduce the complexity of engineering two separate control and safety systems. In general, the less complicated a system is, the safer it is. Not only do embedded safety drives reduce hardware costs by as much as 30% (since only one device is needed instead of two), but complementary savings are realised from reduced cabling needs, fewer circuit breakers, and simplified installation. Because the functionality is integrated into the drive, it also avoids the need to configure and connect to logic with relays, resets, and contactors.
Downtime: scourge of productivity
Machine process companies today must respond to pressure to improve their bottom line through increased productivity without sacrificing operator safety. The scourge of productivity is downtime: powering down machines and halting production until the problem is identified and resolved. Advanced safety technology in variable speed drives that integrate safety and control functionality better safeguard operators while reducing the time a production line is shut down. No longer are productivity and safety mutually exclusive objectives.
Embedded safety drives represent a new, forward-looking alternative to the conventional approach of using multiple hardware components to create separate, independent systems for machine control and safety. Embedding safety functionality into the control drives reduces the complexity of the safety system. The number of components and associated cabling are reduced, making the system more robust and reliable. In general, the less complicated a system, the safer it is. Fewer devices and less cabling mean fewer potential points of failure.
EXTENDED MACHINE LIFE
Not only do embedded safety drives reduce hardware costs by as much as 30%, they also extend the useful lifetime of machinery. Safety functions enable safe stop ramps without completely shutting down power to the machines. This avoids machinery degradation from excessive full-stop-and-restart cycles. Safe speed monitoring ramps allow machines to slow down sufficiently for an operator to safely interact with them, to troubleshoot a condition that would otherwise shut down the production line (clearing a blockage or closing a guard door, for instance). By reducing full-shutdown downtime and enabling faster restart times, overall production line performance is improved.
Advantages of Schneider Electric embedded safety drives
|Lower installation costs saving <30%||• 1 device instead of 2
• Fewer circuit breakers
• Reduced cabling
• Simplified installation
|Enhanced operator safety||• Fewer potential points of failure
• Faster response to safety signals
|Increased machine productivity||• Reduced wear and tear
• Faster, safer manual intervention
|Improved production line performance||• Less ‘full shutdown’ downtime
• Faster restart times
Networking safety systems over Ethernet cable enables quicker certification and easier integration of safety and control. System complexity and wiring is also significantly reduced, which helps improve overall safety due to fewer components with the potential to fail. As with embedded safety drives, networking a control and safety system using an integrated, single backbone improves operator safety whilst enabling cost and installation time savings. Adopting embedded safety hardware and communications can realise a significant cost advantage over the traditional hardwired and stand-alone approach.
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