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We Can Integrate Safety if We Want To
Episode 510th November 2021 • Operation Automation • Omron Automation Americas
00:00:00 00:22:24

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Join Carrie Lee and Kenny Heidel to learn from special guest Pamela Horbacovsky (Product Manager – Safety Controllers and Components) on how Integrated Safety is becoming an important part of automation methodology and where Omron can assist in its implementation.

Transcripts

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Most of the time to reduce wiring CIP Safety would be the option to go. And that is because if you want to integrate a robot controller to your safety system, we're talking about at least 80 wires that you need to put between your controller and the safety system. With CIP Safety, you replace all that with just one [inaudible 00:00:19] E cable.

Kenny Heidel (:

Welcome everyone to the Operation Automation podcast by Omron, where we're talking all things, factory automation. My name is Kenny Heidel and I'm a channel development manager focusing on channel engagement. I've been with Omron for three years and have 12 years of combined factory and industrial automation experience. Sitting here with me is Carrie Lee.

Carrie Lee (:

Hi everyone. I'm Carrie Lee. I'm the product manager for Sysmac Studio, NJ/NX controllers and NX I-O. I've been with Omron for about two and a half years and have about 15 years of experience in automation.

Kenny Heidel (:

Carrie and I are neighbors at our Omron office. And we often have conversations at the coffee machine or in the hallways where we would talk about products, new technologies and trends, and of course, the Chicago White Sox. We hope to recreate that time here on our podcast and share it with our listeners so that you can learn along with us. So whether you're pouring your first, or your fifth coffee of the day, driving to your first appointment, or walking the dog, we hope to help you start your day right with a little bit of fun, and hopefully you'll learn something new too. So, Carrie, I think we have a very, very interesting guest today. And is it song time?

Carrie Lee (:

Yeah. Yes. I think it's always song time in my book.

Kenny Heidel (:

We can dance if we want to, you can leave your friends behind. That's all I know.

Carrie Lee (:

Pretty good.

Kenny Heidel (:

I need the actual song with the information, but. .. All right, everyone, we have an excellent guest today. We have Pamela Horbakovsky. She is a product manager for Safety Components and Safety Controllers with Omron, and she is here to enlighten us on integrated safety. That's kind of where the safety dance comes into play though. I give 150% credit to Carrie and you.

Carrie Lee (:

You're the talent.

Kenny Heidel (:

Put quotes around talent, right? So Pam, if you want to kind of introduce yourself to the listeners and give them a little bit of information about your background.

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Okay. Thank you, Carrie, Kenny. I have been with Omron for almost six years as a product specialist and then as a product and service leader for safety and now as a product manager for safety.

Kenny Heidel (:

Fantastic.

Carrie Lee (:

So before we get into all the tough questions we're going to ask you about safety, I'd like to just kind of start off with some fun questions to get to know you. So Pam, what's been your go-to pandemic food order?

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

The pandemic gave me the chance to discover a lot of new flavors over the last year. But I do say that my favorite place is small, such a place in Des Plaines Ava sushi, where I discovered the fire roll with spicy tuna and the summer roll with salmon and avocado. Those are amazing.

Carrie Lee (:

Wow. Way healthier than what I've been doing in pandemic, but it sounds really good.

Kenny Heidel (:

I know. After this podcast, we will be going to get sushi at our new sponsor. Just kidding. All right. So Pam, if you have to get a lot of work done, what is your favorite music to put on? What's your jam?

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Oh, my jam music to get job done. I say that is, so I really like electronic dancing music for that type of situations. So I would say, the Muse, Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers are kind of my favorites, are the one that help me to things done on time.

Carrie Lee (:

So nice. What do you think about Daft Punk going into retirement or breaking up or whatever?

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

It broke my heart when I saw the new this week.

Carrie Lee (:

I'm sorry for your loss. So I guess, we should probably get down to it. So, how about just to start you give our listeners just an overview of what integrated safety is?

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Yes. So, integrated safety is a different way to approach machine safety, I would say. I think one of the most common challenges for manufacturers and system builders is that they think about safety at the end of the project, at the end of the design, at the end of whatever they're doing. And integrated safety is about start thinking about how you are going to handle your functional safety requirement from the beginning. So, that give you a chance to reduce cost, save time and be more efficient during the design installation and everything. So, integrated safety is about taking advantage of having one integrated development environment for your entire control and safety program, how to make more efficient validation and how to then simplify troubleshooting in the future.

Carrie Lee (:

Great point. It's interesting when you talk about thinking of it at the beginning. Who typically is driving that? Is it going to be the controls engineer? Is there a safety engineer that's kind of convinced the controls engineers to bring in the safety?

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Well, that is a really good question. It has been always kind of a gray area. So here in the US, because of [OSHA 00:05:39], machine safety is kind of the responsibility of the end users. So if you're going to have a machine on site, then you need to take over that safety requirement for your site to be compliant with OSHA and other regulations. So, it has been driven by safety engineer most of the time, but it can be really challenging because you have a machine that is done, is up, you're ready to run, and now you need to add safety and sometime it's not so easy. It will depend how complex is your system. And sometime, your requirements will evolve or change from the design to actually having the system running.

Kenny Heidel (:

Interesting. Makes sense. Yeah. It does seem safety always. Sometimes obviously, we both manage safety products. Safety does seem like an afterthought. It's kind of like a ... Oh shoot. I have to put that on there.

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Exactly. That happened most of the time. So, integrated safety is about having that opportunity to think from the beginning.

Kenny Heidel (:

Exactly. Now, one question we had, the integrated safety webinar, obviously, if you have not seen it, please visit our website, navigate to our webinar section where there's a fantastic recording that Pamela has done. What are some of the biggest challenges you kind of encounter with these end users really resistance to just saying, instead of just putting a one off safety component here and there, what resistance do you see of implementing a true integrated safety solution?

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

So, customer used to design systems thinking about production and quality requirement without having safety as part of their main focus during that process. So, much of the time, safety became that gatekeeper, what is between having the machine up and running and signing the buy off, how can I achieve that? And, safety part of that requirement. Now, the challenge about integrated safety is that, that push you to have a different approach when you're designing the system. Because now, you need to start thinking about what are my functional safety requirements. So, I'm going to have this robotic application, how are going to do the integration for the safety portion of the system, or how are going to make sure that my maintenance people will be able to trouble shoot in a simple, easy way, the system without being exposed to traditional hazards. So, start thinking about all that when you're on the design stage of your machine. It's going to be challenging. And that is, I would say, the major chain when you're thinking about integrated safety instead just standalone systems.

Kenny Heidel (:

So, it's almost like flipping the script right of these machine builders or potential end users are typically thinking about the cool machine that they're designing. And at the end, putting safety is really almost like a paradigm shift that you need to ... Safety needs to be part of that entire process.

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Exactly.

Carrie Lee (:

So, you mentioned earlier about OSHA, and so I guess, and how they're kind of sending the requirements. So once the machine comes in and the end user is trying to verify that their safety system is valid, how does that work? What does that validation process look like typically?

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Well, so the validation and verification process are part of the risk assessment process. So, you cannot say that you have a machine that is safe until you run that verification validation. And so, imagine that you have an assembly line with several safety songs. So that mean that each safety song will behave in a different way, depending some specific event. So, doing the validation and the verification that mean that you want to test how the safety system is going to behave for the entire system and for each safety zone. So doing that testing on side mean that you will need to have, most of the time, the machine designer or the system designer, someone that knows the safety system and have in mind that depending how complex is that, it might be that you need to bring someone else so your designer won't be on site, those additional challenges. And then, you're going to have a team on site, maybe one, two, five people. So, you will have people activating, deactivating devices over the line.

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

You will have someone looking into the wiring, the grounds, and you have someone look into the safety program. So, it's going to be like, "Okay, now we need to check the emergency stop number one." And you want to make sure that that is going to stop only safety song number one. You will have someone actually doing that testing on site in front of the machine. You will have someone look into that safety program that everything is giving you the right result. And then, you're going to have a kind of a checklist with the result. So, if we are talking about an assembly line, that is something that is going to take hours or days.

Carrie Lee (:

Yeah. And that's if it all goes right.

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Exactly that is without having any surprises there.

Kenny Heidel (:

And, it does seem like Omron kind of has a unique solution there to kind of speed up that situation, right?

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Absolutely. We have a feature that is quite unique. It's online functional test. And what actually offered you is, when we're working Sysmac Studio, we have a feature that will give you step by step on how to run that test. And it will be tracking all the results. So, that means that you can have someone that is not familiar relative with the system design, but they will got all the instruction about what safety device they need to activate. They will record the result and they would even have some space to make additional note. And then, they would have a chance to check the machine status. So, there won't be ... It would be almost impossible that you miss to check a safety device, or you got a different result, or you get confused.

Carrie Lee (:

How much time does that save? That's awesome.

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

That can actually help you to reduce between 35 to 50% of the time for validation. Yes. And it can also help you to reduce them amount of people that you need on site, because now you don't need to have someone look into the program, someone look into the wiring, and someone in front of the machine.

Carrie Lee (:

I didn't even think of that. Wow.

Kenny Heidel (:

Yeah. I know there's, it's a lot of, lot of indirect and direct cost savings. There seems like it's a no brainer to implement that type of solution.

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Exactly.

Kenny Heidel (:

So, switching gears a little bit, now we talked about kind of some of the challenges that you've seen. On the flip side, what industries have you seen that have really been most receptive to working in implementing integrated safety solutions?

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

So, the automotive industry has always been the lead in integrated safety solutions over the last 10 years or a little bit more. But I think that over the last two years, a technology evolve and we have seen other industry to be more looking for ways to introduce more automation. That also implied that they need more safety and looking for ways to be more efficient. So, we have that integrated safety, having a big moment in machine tool, food and beverage packaging, material handling, even entertainment industry.

Kenny Heidel (:

Wow. So really, it's kind of the up and comer at this point that everybody's starting to realize integrated safety has such large benefits to them.

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Absolutely. Because, you can save costs from the design, wiring, troubleshooting. So, and people want to be more efficient and integrated safety is one of those key points that will not only give you those benefits related to cost, but also open the door to more flexibility for your industry.

Kenny Heidel (:

Less of a look saying safety is an extra cost that they have to incur.

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Exactly.

Carrie Lee (:

So Pam, one of the things I noticed that we talk a lot about with the SMA integrated safety is that, we have both FSOE or fail safe over EtherCat. Did I that acronym right? And then CIP Safety. Is there industries or certain types of applications or customers where there's a preference? Is there ever a time where you should use both?

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Oh, that is a really good question, Carrie. So when we're talking about CIP Safety in the past, safety was more related to robotic applications. So basically, if you have a robot controller, there is many option in the industry, right? Most of the time to reduce wiring CIP Safety would be the option to go. And that is because if you want to integrate a robot controller to your safety system, we're talking about at least 80 wires that you need to put between your controller and the safety system. With CIP Safety, you replace all that with just one [inaudible 00:15:05] E cable. So CIP Safety robotic applications.

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Now, we have seen that we also have functional safety over EtherCat. So, application that has motion, that require high performance, high precision, safety over EtherCat is a great option. But what we have seen in the last year, I could say, is that customer looking to have [inaudible 00:15:30] system, a combination of both safety networks under the same environment. So, I have seen customer developing assembly lines with 12, 15 robots, and they want to use CIP Safety to do that power of integration, but then they have safety over EtherCat for all the other devices because they can support remote safety [IO 00:15:54], they can have the benefits. If they're going to have the mix of emotion application and they want to take advantage of that high precision high performance, they can take over that with safety of EtherCat. So I think that in the future, we're going to start seeing more and more this type of application that have a mix of safety networks.

Carrie Lee (:

Awesome. So, that's kind of similar to what we do from the control side as well, kind of optimizing the best of both worlds. It sounds like, Pam, I'm always interested in, you know, what's coming and Kenny, here's your chance to make fun of me. I'm going to ask about IIoT and factory of the future. So, what do you see as the upcoming trends? I think you just mentioned the hybrid approach with the networks. What else? And when we talk factory of the future, it's that kind of vague concept, what does that look like from a safety standpoint?

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Well, from the safety perspective, I think that we are going to see three things happening over the next year. One of them will be more intelligent safety devices. And so here I think, it's a lot related to IIoT and safety devices with, for instance, [iLink 00:17:10] capabilities, ways to reduce the amount of tool that you require to troubleshoot, or the ability to connect, be able to with your safety-like curtain, to do diagnostic or check the settings. So, there will be more and more intelligent safety devices. I think, that is for sure. The other one, I could say, interactive safety. In the future end users, machine builders, they're looking for ways to be more efficient. And part of that is produce the amount of dedicated platform for each piece of machinery. So, they're looking to have one single environment where they can have everything there.

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

And that also means that eliminate the need of dedicated tool for each type of device. So, I have a piece of equipment. I need to use this specific software. I have another piece of equipment. I need data specific software. So, from the training perspective for your maintenance people, there is a lot of investment and a lot of requirement. If someone leave the company, then you need to train someone new, indulge all the list of tools. So, having that ability to reduce that, but also is about reducing the need to use your laptop, to do troubleshooting for all those pieces of equipment in your machine. So, looking for ways to do a complete restore of the system without using laptop, I think we can do that today without safety PLC. But I think, that will become more and more common or same thing with [inaudible 00:18:40]. You can install program [inaudible 00:18:42] without using the software, the laptop, and that can actually help you to save a lot of time, eliminate need of dedicated tools.

Kenny Heidel (:

And I know even beyond that. I've heard of customers that can't necessarily have a laptop readily available to get out to the production environment. So, it's almost not even whether you can or not. It's trying to figure out that alternative local solution.

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Exactly. That is one of the most common challenges for maintenance team. So, being able to achieve that, I think, we're going to see more and more about interactive safety. The third one is, I think we're going to see more about collaborative safety for fundless solutions. So there is this trend where we want to reduce finances as much as possible on the factory floor. And that mean that we are thinking about ways to have collaborative applications. That mean that we're going to need collaborative safety.

Kenny Heidel (:

For some reason, that makes me think of Terminator. How do we ... And I'm going to hold, hold, hold ... Stay with me here. But, how do we coexist with the machines?

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Exactly. But I will say, in harmony. Exactly.

Kenny Heidel (:

That's the other.

Carrie Lee (:

Pam's going to protect us from the machines taking us out.

Kenny Heidel (:

Well, fantastic. This is all great information, Pam, and I hope you know that we are not going to let you off the hook with, in this episode without having to answer some trivia, as has been very custom here. So my trivia question today is, who was the president of the United States that helped found OSHA?

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Oh, I don't recall that one, Kenny.

Kenny Heidel (:

Okay. It's okay. It was actually, and this was very surprising when I looked it up. Richard Nixon.

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Oh, wow. Okay.

Kenny Heidel (:

Yeah. When Carrie and I were talking about that, when we saw that answer, we were both like, "Huh? How about that?"

Carrie Lee (:

Yep. Well, Pam, this was really great. I learned a lot and I would encourage anyone who has not watched Pamela's webinar to check it out. It's one of the best ones I've seen. They do a really good job with some interactive demos. So, there's a link to that in the description of our episode. So thanks again, Pam, really enjoyed this.

Pamela Horbakovsky (:

Thank you. Thank you, Kenny, Carrie, for having me here. I have a really good time and I learned something new.

Kenny Heidel (:

It was our pleasure, Pam.

Carrie Lee (:

Thank you everyone for joining Kenny and me for the Operation Automation podcast. If you have topics you would like to hear discussed on future episodes, please send them to our email address, omronnow@omron.com with podcast idea in the subject line. Also, if you would like to submit a song to us, we are looking for intro and outro music options. This can be submitted to the same email. Finally, all of the cool things you learn on this podcast can be found on automation.omron.com. Until next time, we put the fun in factory automation.

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