Machinery Safety 101

2008 IEEE PSES Symposium On Product Compliance Engineering

Last week I was at the 2008 PSES Sym­posi­um in Aus­tin Texas.

This was one of the most suc­cess­ful Sym­po­sia held by the PSES, with 180 in attend­ance and 15 exhib­it­ors in the hall. Attendees came from as far as Argen­tina, the UK and Israel!

Dr. June Ander­sen gave a great key­note address on Monday morn­ing, show­ing the group how IBM man­ages world­wide com­pli­ance in more than 180 dif­fer­ent mar­kets. Dr. Ander­sen’s back­ground is impress­ive, and a bit intim­id­at­ing. I found her to be a warm, friendly and inter­est­ing per­son when we shared break­fast togeth­er before the con­ferece opened. Dr. Ander­sen’s present­a­tion will be made avail­able through the PSES web site to mem­bers, so if you would like a copy and you’re not a mem­ber, now is a great time to join!

Keith Arm­strong of Cherry Clough Con­sult­ants, along with his col­leagues Jacques Delaballe and Bill Radasky presen­ted an inter­est­ing one-day work­shop on EMC and Func­tion­al Safety, dis­cuss­ing the effects of EMC on the safety related parts of con­trol sys­tems. On Wed­nes­day, Keith com­pleted the series with a short present­a­tion on the short­com­ings of con­ven­tion­al EMC test­ing in reveal­ing safety-related design prob­lems. Def­in­itely a worth­while series! Arm­stron, Delaballe and Radasky are plan­ning a new work­shop for next-year’s Sym­posi­um in Toronto that will carry on from this year, so if you are inter­ested in this area, plan to attend!

There were sev­er­al ses­sions on bat­ter­ies and the on-going work that the bat­tery com­pan­ies and the main bat­tery con­sumers are under­tak­ing to resolve the design and man­u­fac­tur­ing prob­lems that led to the note­book and cell phone fires in the past year. These ses­sions were packed and well reviewed by every­one I spoke with.

There were lots of oth­er present­a­tions that I did­n’t get a chance to attend – with 40 present­a­tions and only one me, it was impossible to get to every one.

If you missed this year’s Sym­posi­um, start plan­nng for next year’s in Toronto – it’s going to be great!

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