Omron Corporation, a global leader in automation, sensing and control technology, has established a new category brand, STI' (Safety, Innovation & Technology), as it ramps up expansion of its machine safeguarding business. Omron also revealed that its OS3101 Laser Safety Scanner would be the first product marketed under the new brand.
New category brand and logo
In September 2006, OMRON acquired Scientific Technologies Incorporated (STI), the leading North American supplier of safety equipment. Estimates value this market at approximately US$940 million with a growth rate of 15% per annum.
Inspired by the Scientific Technologies Inc. company name, the new category brand imbues the three letters STI with the meaning of safety, technology and innovation, reflecting Omron's desire to prompt a revolution in the field of machine safeguarding. By combining its advanced sensing, control and networking technologies with high-level product support, Omron aims to help customers create safer workplaces for their employees and enjoy improved productivity as a result.
Laser safety scanner is first product released under STI brand
Using harmless laser light to detect intrusions into a guarded area, Omron's OS3101 Laser Safety Scanner offers an intuitive and easy-to-use solution that can drastically improve workplace safety and productivity in facilities where people and machinery work together in close contact.
By allowing users to designate a warning zone, which initiates an alert signal when workers approach a dangerous area, and a safety zone that automatically shuts down machinery if breached, the scanner prevents unnecessary machinery downtime due to inadvertent worker intrusion, thus ensuring safety while maintaining productivity.
Safety needs in manufacturing
Until now, safety at the workplace has been reliant on training and worker vigilance. However, as manufacturing processes become increasingly complex and production sites more globalised, these methods alone are proving insufficient and demand is growing rapidly for solutions that realize greater workplace safety.
Recognising that human error and machine failure are unavoidable risks, organisations such as the ISO (International Organization of Standardization) and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) have established international standards for risk management stipulating design measures to ensure that workers are kept safe from machinery. Compliance with these standards is now a pressing issue for manufacturers worldwide.
Workers risk injuries in two situations: when they are in direct contact with machinery and when they approach the vicinity of automated machinery such as hydraulic presses, stamping machines and industrial robots. Ensuring safety in such workplaces requires safety control systems that safeguard both workers and equipment by automatically recognising hazards across the entire factory floor and shutting down machines if a worker enters a hazardous area or if machinery malfunctions.
This level of safety can only be achieved if the safety of devices and equipment is given due consideration at the initial design stage. Omron is actively involved in safety design, providing new safety components, offering safety design consulting services to maximise machine safety and minimise work injuries and helping manufacturers improve productivity by increasing machine and device design efficiency.