Safety system for car factories

The automotive industry encompasses many industries and services linked directly (e.g., the manufacture of mechanical components and equipment) and indirectly (e.g., the manufacture of power cells) to automobile production, sale, and service. At the same time, it is one of several industries in which accidents frequently occur. As if that weren't enough, production line downtime in car factories, a consequence of dangerous incidents, brings some of the highest losses in the manufacturing sector.

Polish CSO’s data for 2021: nearly half of the accidents in the auto manufacturing industry result in an inability to work for 21 days or longer

In addition, one of the 4 most common causes of accidents is contact with machinery: collision, being pulled in, or being crushed. Serious accidents and fatalities are also not uncommon. Examples from the yards of leading auto manufacturers are available here and here.

And how much does a production line shutdown cost at an automotive plant? For the automotive industry, it’s as much as 50,000 USD/min.

What’s more, accident victims can claim compensation for serious and fatal accidents. A case in which the family of a deceased electrician received £150,000 in compensation from Vauxhall Motors was loudly echoed.

Machines used in the automotive industry

The production process of automotive components is composed of many specialized stages. This forces the use of advanced equipment and workstations that allow for efficient and effective production in a constantly changing environment. Among the many types of machines that are used in the automotive industry, the most popular are:

  • welding cells;
  • robotic cells;
  • large specialized production machines;
  • injection molding machines, presses;
  • CNC machines;
  • foundry furnaces;
  • large machines/processing workstations;
  • large technological lines;
  • conveyor belts, conveyors.

In the case of the above-mentioned machines and workstations, the most frequently used security systems include guards for machines and moving elements, physical barriers in the form of fences and walls, emergency switch systems, alarms (light and sound), scanners and light curtains, security interlocks (limit switches), or LOTO procedures.

How can Thermosafety secure machines in the automotive industry?

An example of securing a workstation with presses

The presses take part in the production process consisting in giving (with the use of a suitable mold) a shape to an element of the car interior. An example of an item where presses are used is a headliner. Presses pose a danger to the operators operating them, who sometimes have to reach with their hands into the machine. Its constant monitoring will allow for immediate signaling and suspending or preventing the resumption of the machine’s operation when a person appears in the danger zone. If the operator is outside the zone – Thermosafety will not stop the machine’s operation. In addition, the press itself will not trigger a stop which is the case with safety curtains/scanners.

Examples of use for other machines and workstations:

  • welding cells and robotic cells – preventing activation when a person is locked inside the cell;
  • large specialized production machines – preventing starting when a person is inside or in the danger zone;
  • injection molding machines, presses, and CNC machines – preventing starting when a person is accidentally locked inside the mold or in the working area of the workstation;
  • foundry furnaces – protection against work when there is a person nearby and against being hit by the opening door of the furnace or being hit by a trolley entering the furnace;
  • large machines/processing stations – preventing operation when there is an operator in the danger zone;
  • large technological lines – preventing the operation of machines when a person is present in the working area;
  • conveyor belts, conveyors – protection if a person appears on the conveyor belt or is caught by its moving element.

Warning and monitoring of traffic in hazardous areas

THERMOSAFETY LITE is a camera system designed to detect people as well as forklifts. It is a solution whose main application is  monitoring intersections with limited visibility, where pedestrians and forklifts often cross their paths.

The device consists of a stereovision camera and an AI system that analyzes the observed image and 3D space. When a human is detected, the device displays selected warning signals.

The device offers a unique networking capability, improving the range and accuracy of human detection – the functionality of the device can be expanded by connecting it to the THERMOSAFETY HUB.

Examples of TS LITE applications

CROSSINGS AND INTERSECTIONS "AROUND THE BEND"

Carts and other industrial vehicles pose the greatest danger when they appear suddenly. THERMOSAFETY LITE will monitor hidden areas and send warnings when a vehicle and worker are in the path of a collision.

SMALL COMMON AREAS

THERMOSAFETY LITE can monitor areas where forklifts and pedestrians often move in the same area. A warning signal that lights up when pedestrians and forklifts are in the same area can prevent unpleasant situations.

WYJŚCIA NA ŚCIEŻKĘ

Exits from the corridors directly onto the path are troublesome to secure. With THERMOSAFETY LITE, we can inform the approaching cart already in the corridor. Likewise, we will warn the cart driver of an approaching employee before the employee opens the door!

The THERMOSAFETY HUB allows for the construction of a network of THERMOSAFETY LITE devices. The High-Performance Server supports up to 8 stereovision cameras and is equipped with a PLC to control the devices.

High performance allows you to expand functionality! Using the power of the THERMOSAFETY HUB server allows you to combine observed areas, delineate warning zones, and history and analyze events. All with increased precision and detection performance.

Examples of TS HUB applications

LARGE UNLOADING ZONES

Large plazas with increased cart traffic are areas where drivers should be extra careful. Such areas can be monitored using several THERMOSAFETY LITE devices and when people are detected, drivers can be informed of their presence.

COMPLEX INTERSECTIONS

Using THERMOSAFETY HUB with several THERMOSAFETY LITE cameras, we can monitor several, different sections of the same intersection. Recognition of approaching people or oncoming carts will allow effective traffic management at this location.

CLOSED PRODUCTION AREAS

Some production areas are protected from the entry of workers. Their presence is allowed only at certain times. By combining THERMOSAFETS LITE, we can observe large production lines and alert people to entry at specific times.

Online system for event analytics

With selected THERMOSAFETY systems you will analyze the detailed history of events!