National Safety Month: Safety Starts with Understanding the Situation

Innovative Signaling Technology Delivers Benefits for Building Access Control and Beyond

Building access control solutions have emerged as some of the key measures for making public spaces safer during the COVID-19 pandemic. With combinations of cameras and signaling devices, these building access control solutions can detect and alert users to high temperatures, overcrowding, and more.

These solutions might regulate the number of people inside a public building, confirm proper face covering usage, or check temperatures to exclude people with fevers from public spaces. Solutions such as these could easily be prohibitively costly, though, or too complicated for easy implementation.

Pfannenberg, a global leader in signaling technology, has been helping customers to put its PYRA L-S LED visual signaling device to work in such building access control systems to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus for most of the last year. The PYRA L-S can be paired with any camera with closed contact output capacity. For example, a temperature sensing camera may have a software that allows it to be programmed to create an output signal voltage if the scanned temperature is higher than, say, 101ºF. (Read here the article about our partnership with G2K for combined use of Signaling Devices and Thermal Imaging cameras)

PYRA LED: Most flexible and ultra bright LED technology

Pyra L-S-RGB

PYRA L-S LED visual signaling devices are low current consumption, plug-and-play, easy to use device that can adapt for use in a wide range of critical conditions. Pfannenberg’s history of working with industrial process control solutions has prepared us to pivot quickly to meet this emerging need; after all, the technology is much the same, just being put to a new use.

Other aspects of the device’s installation and use prove to bring important benefits in the emerging space of building access control for COVID-19 and beyond. The PYRA L-S can be installed easily, either mounted on surfaces or built in to buildings or devices.

That fast and easy installation means that companies and organizations don’t need to wait to put new building access control technology to use. With fewer components thanks to its direct control by camera systems, and plug-and-play design, it’s more cost-effective than complicated signaling technology, and yet still has enough flexibility to convey a number of signals of varying criticality.

NEW PYRA® LED Alarms: Flexible Enough for Use in Any Signaling Application

Pfannenberg’s New PYRA® product line of LED Visible Signaling Devices is the most flexible and brightest LED signaling technology on the market! Built with durable construction for industries such as heavy industry, material handling, gas detection & security applications, the PYRA LED series is appropriate for use wherever visible signaling is needed.

INVISIBLE FIT

Capable of being fully integrated into the design of any given machine or plant, the PYRA LED alarms can be configured with different modes (steady-on, blinking, and flashing), the frequency of which can be controlled by the user as well. These visual signaling devices also feature an external color and mode control, which allows users to select the signaling mode and the color via remote control, and to display different configurations for different alerts with just one light. The product line also features a multi-voltage power supply to ensure numerous possible connections and applications.

MAKE THE PYRA® LED FIT YOUR NEEDS!

Four different options are available within the product line:

Single or Multi color (RGB) LED lights: PY L-S and PY L-S RGB

Pyra L-S group

The single lights allow changes to signaling and frequency modes, while the RGB lights have the added flexibility of changing the signal color as well. This Signaling Device offers a 180° x 360° visible field and operates in any climate. Can be surface or flush-panel mounted.

Learn more

 

LED Traffic Lights: PY L-S TL

 

These LED traffic lights are available pre-assembled or as individual modules to be assembled by the end user according to his needs – with or without a  sounder! Select between a 2 or 3-stages traffic light only or combine it additionally with a PA1 sounder.

Learn more

 

 

Single LED RGB light + PATROL Sounder Combination: PA L 1

 

The pre-assembled, compact, and multi functional single light/PATROL sounder combination delivers the greatest flexibility and ease of use in a convenient, pre-assembled design.

Learn More

 

Watch the PYRA LED-Series Presentation Video Now!

 

For more information about the highly adaptable PYRA line of Visible Signaling Devices, visit https://www.pfannenbergusa.com/the-pyra-led-s-series/

Audible and Visual Signaling Technology Mitigates Risks in Outdoor Crane Applications

Safety equipment, and particularly signals, are an integral part of outdoor overhead crane operations. In outdoor applications, where wind and weathering pose significant risks over time, these signals are particularly important and must be both flexible and reliable in the long term. Audible and visual signaling technology, such as the combined PYRA L-S and PA1 signals from Pfannenberg, can alert operators and others in the vicinity of cranes to dangerous or concerning conditions.

Outdoor Cranes Safety Risks

Required in applications such as building, installing large-scale HVAC equipment, shipping, transportation, and more, outdoor cranes pose significant safety risks to workers onsite and passersby.

As a result, OSHA regulations regarding crane safety are strict, and some municipalities, like New York City, have implemented further safety restrictions to prevent outdoor overhead crane accidents. There are three main categories of risk associated with outdoor overhead cranes: wind, movement, and load.

Using Industrial Signals to Mitigate Risks

Signaling technology can be used to mitigate risk from all three of these categories. For example, signals rigged to a wind anemometer could alarm when wind speeds exceed safe operating conditions. Those wired to a thermostat in the electronic controls could signal overheating and avoid hoist brake failure. Alarms can also notify operators of exceeding maximum load capacity, electronics failures, or other dangerous conditions. On the other hand, a steady-on green light could signal that a crane is safe and ready for operation.

Pfannenberg, a global leader in signaling technology, has developed a combined audible-visual signaler that meets all these needs and more. By combining an LED visual signal with the capacity to stay on steadily, blink, or flash in multiple different colors with a loud audible signal, the Pfannenberg PYRA L-S and PA1 signaling combination gives crane manufacturers the ability to make all of these different safety features accessible to crane operators and nearby workers.

For more information about Pfannenberg’s one-size-fits-all outdoor crane safety solution, check out our Crane PDF or contact our Signaling Specialists today!

Pfannenberg cooperates with G2K to provide safety solutions in the fight against COVID-19

AI-based data management for access control of production sites and supply chains.

Due to the high risk of infection with COVID-19, production plants are threatened with the failure of entire production lines as well as the destruction of finished products through infection, or simply suspicion. This can quickly lead to huge economic damage and loss of reputation for society as a whole. An effective method of preventing a breakdown and possible economic damage is secure access control for employees, suppliers and service technicians.

Prevent production downtime safely with COVID-19

The software manufacturer G2K has developed a platform that monitors access control by, among other things, thermal camera-based body temperature measurements and algorithm-based analysis of video streams. If a camera or a sensor detects any sign when an area is entered, such as fever symptoms or the lack of wearing a face mask, the multicolour LED light from Pfannenberg functions like a traffic light: a red signal indicates that access is denied, whereas a green signal indicates that no irregularities have been detected and access is granted.

G2K relies on RGB LED light from Pfannenberg

The advantages of an RGB light are obvious: several colours can be displayed by just one device. In addition, the PYRA® LED RGB not only offers various installation options, but can also be installed quickly thanks to cable entries on all sides thanks to its Plug&Play system. A high IP protection allows its use in almost every application, but especially in the field of access control. The essential advantage of this Signaling LED Solution is the option for direct control via the alarm output of the camera, this considerably reduces the number of system components and leads to a cost-efficient solution. Users can choose between different signaling modes and high performance and visibility, even in daylight, is always guaranteed thanks to the ultra-bright LED technology.

Faster, more hygienic and more accurate than manual actions

This technology is a market-ready option for real-time detection of symptoms of fever, congestion or lack of facial coverage. As a result, access processes are monitored more quickly, hygienically and accurately than with purely manual measurements.

Access criteria and measures individually adjustable

Users can individually determine which access criteria are measured or which ones grant or deny access: For example, it is possible to measure fever values, check whether a mouth-nose mask is worn or even set a capacity limit on persons.

In the event of an alarm, efficient and targeted reactions such as refusal of admission in the event of overcrowding can be implemented by means of automated lists of measures.

A connection to the HR system is also possible in order to obtain a real-time overview of all relevant key figures and, for example, to trace chains of infection or take certain measures.

Any Questions? Contact our Signaling Experts Now!

PY L-S LED New Signaling Device to Assist in the Detection of Possible COVID-19 Infections

This device is ideal for a combined use with thermal imaging to convey normal and irregular activity

As more and more organizations return to business as usual – or as close as is possible – in the next phase of the COVID-19 global health crisis, new health and safety measures are critically important. In many settings, from office buildings and commercial centers to schools and medical offices, infection detection technologies are a necessary component of safe reopening.

One such infection detection technology option is that of skin temperature sensing systems. Composed of a thermal imaging camera, computer or other control device, and, often, a signal for flagging elevated temperatures, these systems can help to identify individuals with elevated skin surface temperatures for further health screening. In doing so, the system is part of strategies for ensuring infection containment and community health and safety.

Pfannenberg has developed the PYRA L-S color changing LED visual signal alarm with four selectable colors, part of the PYRA product family, is an ideal addition to skin surface temperature monitoring systems for real-time people flow control and COVID-19 monitoring. In these systems, the signaling device can be incorporated to convey normal and irregular activity to alert operators to alarm conditions so that suitable next steps can be undertaken.

Useful in manufacturing facilities, office buildings, commercial centers, schools, medical centers, and many other settings, such monitoring systems can aid in ensuring infection containment and community health and safety through its color changing blinking and flashing mechanism.

The PY L-S LED Visual Signal Alarm offers flexible, ultra-bright, color changing or single-color LED technology in four selectable colors and three selectable signaling modes. It can be surface or flush-panel mounted, and is a suitable, easy-to-install replacement for stack tower lights. Its IP 66-rated enclosure makes it suitable for use in all weather conditions, and for withstanding hose-directed spray during wash-down procedures.

“With this kind of access control systems, which generally have to be retrofitted, it is important to make handling as simple, efficient and cost-effective as possible for users,” says Volker Matthies, Director Global Product Management Signaling Technology at Pfannenberg. “On the other hand, the solution must work precisely and safely to ensure the health of employees and customers on site.”

 

Contact our Signaling Experts today to get more info on this product!

 

Signaling Technology Ensures Safety in Crane & Hoist Applications

Audible and visible signals reduce risk of dangerous, costly accidents

By Jacob Vernon, Signaling Specialist Audible & Visual Signaling, Pfannenberg

June is #NationalSafetyMonth, an opportunity to raise awareness about  significant dangers to technicians, operators, and other workers on the floor related the the use of crane hoists. To avoid accidents, it is imperative that everyone around knows that a crane and its load are nearby.

Audible and Visible Signals help to protect from these dangers, notifying those underneath or near a moving load so that they can take necessary precautions to avoid harm. Proper signals are thus critically important; inferior signals that are inaudible on the shop floor or not sufficiently visible can lead to dangerous and costly accidents.

In particular, combined visual and audible signaling devices  are recommended for overhead cranes for an immense added safety benefit to the user since shop conditions may prevent workers from either hearing or seeing a signal, but rarely prevent both.

Advantages of audible and visual signaling in overhead crane use

Combined visual and audible signaling devices in overhead crane settings can offer cost savings through two different avenues:

Reduced risk of harm to personnel: Signaling devices reduce risk to personnel by warning them of impending danger so that there are no deaths, injuries, or even lost time. This reduced risk, however, depends on the efficacy of a signaling device in a given application, based on its decibel and joules level.

Increased throughput of the factory floor: Signals can reduce the likelihood of crane downtime. Cutting-edge combination signaling devices are capable not only of warning personnel of a moving load, but also of using separate tones or lights to warn the operator of conditions that can cause downtime.

This can include collision avoidance, over-speed alarms, hoist break failure alarms, overload alarms, and over-temp of VHD alarms. These, in turn, save on costs, as businesses that use cranes to facilitate production rely on them to make them for revenue.

Selecting and installing the correct audible signal

When choosing an audible signal for an overhead crane application, it is important to ensure that the signal is the correct decibel level for the given application – able to be heard over machinery, but not so loud as to pose a risk to workers. Determining the correct audible signal decibel level is based on the application and area that the device will be used. Signals should be set at no less than +5dB above the application’s maximum sound pressure level; however, the ideal set point is +10dB above this sound pressure level for added safety.

For example, a steel mill might have hundreds of overhead cranes used for production and throughput of raw steel. It does not make sense to use the same signal on a crane in the blast furnace as the one that is used in a coil stacking yard, as having an audible signal with the kind of low decibel level that would suffice in the coil stacking yard would add even more risk to the already dangerous blast furnace area. Companies specializing in audible and visual signaling technology like Pfannenberg maintain extensive data to helps determine appropriate volume levels for signaling sounders in a wide range of different applications.

Once the decibel level of a sounder is determined, where to install the sounder is of next concern. Most often, signaling devices are mounted on the moving trolley or the bridge of the crane. Additionally, it is important to mount the cone of the sounder in the direction of the load the crane is carrying so the sound travels to those in the risk path.

Selecting and installing the correct visible signal

Next, of course, is determining the correct joules level for the combination signaling device’s visual signal. Sound decreases significantly over distance, and significantly louder-than-necessary audible signals can be startling or even dangerous to workers. Light, on the other hand, does not undergo the same kind of decrease in intensity over distance, and is not as obtrusive if overly intense in a given environment. Visible signaling devices are thus rated by distance, but adding power (and thus intensity and brightness) can only add to the signal’s safety factor and reduce personnel risk without causing inconvenience.

As with the audible signal, once the brightness level of a visible signal is determined, where to install the signal is the next important choice. Visible signaling devices are also usually mounted on the moving trolley or the bridge of the crane, and the pyramid shape of the strobe light should also be mounted in the direction of the load the crane is carrying to minimize risk.

Extreme environments demand specialized signaling equipment

Applications with extreme environments demand specialized signaling technology. Some signaling products, like the PATROL and PYRA series signaling devices from Pfannenberg, are designed for extreme high and low temperatures; these feature electronic board, digital sound capsule, and polycarbonate housing designs that enable them to be rated for use in -40ºF to +131ºF environments.

Meanwhile, Pfannenberg’s DS series sounders feature aluminum die-cast housings for use in areas up to +160ºF. In loud environments, these same PATROL and DS series devices offer exceptionally high sound pressure outputs of and the capacity to be volume controlled up to -12dB to fit each exact application.

 

Download Pfannenberg’s New Signaling Catalog for more info!

Find Pfannenberg’s Gas Detection Alarms at the IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Heavy Equipment Expo

Pfannenberg to Showcase Fixed Gas Detection Audible and Visual Alarms at 42nd Annual IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Heavy Equipment Expo

Meet Us at Booth #935 To Understand How to Comply with the New 2021 Regulations

Orlando, FL Pfannenberg, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of thermal management and signaling technologies, will highlight their combined visual-audible signaling products at the upcoming 42nd Annual IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Heavy Equipment Expo March 15-18, 2020. Pfannenberg, the industry expert in fixed gas detection alarming, produces visual alarms (strobes), audible alarms (horns), and combined devices. These critical technologies make Pfannenberg’s signaling devices industry leaders in quality, safety, and robustness for proper ammonia coolant system design under IIAR-2A standards.

Ammonia gas leaks can be both dangerous and deadly. Ammonia leaks continue to rise due to:

  • The increased use of natural refrigerants over fluorinated gas counterparts
  • Population growth, which increases the need for cold storage.

In the face of this increased risk to worker safety, the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) has updated its standards for the safest regulation of this dangerous gas.

In 2021, IFC refrigeration systems that use ammonia refrigerant, along with the buildings where they are used, must comply with IIAR2 for system design and installation, IIAR-6 for maintenance and inspection, and IIAR-7 for operating procedures. Though these standards help ensure safety and efficacy, guidelines for selecting the correct audible and visual alarms can be buried deep within this regulatory code and, accordingly, these standards can be difficult to adhere to.

Pfannenberg offers a new, effective approach to product selection, one that assists the customer in choosing the correct signaling device based on the conditions of the area where ammonia is present. This approach, known as Signaling 3D-Coverage, ensures that the workers can hear and see an alarm when it is activated, no matter where they are when ammonia is present.

Pfannenberg specifically seeks to foreground the durable PATROL PA X Series Audible and Visual Alarms, the ideal solution for alarm applications for adverse environmental conditions like high ambient noise levels or bright surroundings. The PATROL PA X Series Audible and Visual alarms range from 105 dB to 122 dB in sound output. The PA X Series is easy to install making it extremely safe. It also boasts extremely high efficiency and good penetration of acoustical obstacles, which significantly reduces the required number of sounders for a location. The alarms feature 80 tones and a 5-15J Xenon Strobe.

The updated IIAR-2A regulations harmonize with Pfannenberg’s cutting-edge methods for selecting proper signaling devices, such as the PA X PATROL Series Alarms. In light of the incredibly high risks of ammonia leaks, this combined effort can save lives.

Download Pfannenberg’s NEW Ammonia Gas Detection Whitepaper to learn more!

The Elements of Effective Signaling for Industrial Safety and Process Control

Industrial signaling is critical to both process control and personnel safety. Horns and strobes are necessary in order to alert workers to hazards such as gas accumulation and machine failure. They are only effective, however, if they are bright enough to be seen and loud enough to be heard. The right industrial alarm can cut through the noise of heavy industry, but it is important to know the ambient sound level, as well as the maximum sound level, to determine the right decibel level for a given area.

Determine the required safety level for your specific industry

Despite the crucial role that signaling technologies play in protecting employees, many companies still look strictly at minimum standards. With so much at stake, operators need to set a higher standard. Once they determine the required safety level for a specific manufacturing environment, operators can ask a range of questions to arrive at the right signaling devices that best protect their workers, normalize the flow of process conditions, and mitigate overall risk.

Industrial signaling includes audible signaling, visual signaling, and combined audible/visual signaling devices. With so many different aspects of signaling to consider, answering the following questions can effectively lead designers toward the ideal signaling technologies for any intended environment:

  • What must you accomplish with the signal? An alarm? An evacuation notice?
  • What potential hazards prompt you to install the signaling device?
  • How loud is the ambient noise in the intended work environment?
  • Within what area around a machine will people be able to hear an alarm or see a strobe?
  • How far does sound travel in the intended space?
  • What personnel are in the room and where are they located vis a vis the alarm or strobe?

Addressing these concerns provides a good first step towards ensuring safety. However, meeting alarm specifications such as decibels (sound) or lumens (light) is not enough to guarantee the required response by personnel. In order to be effective in alerting personnel, one must consider the following three indispensable dimensions:

The personnel dimension:

The location of personnel with regards to the safety of being notified by a signaling device.

This includes restrictions due to ear and eye protection.

 

The special conditions dimension:

Unique factors in the surrounding environment that could affect whether someone hears or sees an alarm and the life of the alarm’s operation.

 

 

The spatial dimension:

The element that determines the actual effective coverage volume for audible and visual signaling devices. Not just decibels and lumens, but the way sound and light travel through space.

 

Pfannenberg “3D-Coverage” for your alarm notification planning

Pfannenberg’s innovative “3D-Coverage” does not overlook these considerations. For example, Pfannenberg retrofitted a wastewater treatment facility in Tonawanda, NY with chlorine gas alarms. The previous system required 50 devices to cover the facility. Using the 3D approach, Pfannenberg put together a design that integrated its PATROL® and PYRA® systems.

 

These achieved a higher level of coverage with only 20 devices, saving the facility money while simultaneously improving its safety. When it comes to signal processing, Pfannenberg’s 3D coverage brings the vision that can help you find the right approach for both your workplace and your personnel.

 

Coverage example depending on the ambient level:

How to Increase Your Workers Safety with Proper Signaling?

Initially published in “Workplace Material Handling & Safety” Magazine.
September 2019 Issue

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Safety in the workplace is only as good as the systems and measures in place to keep it that way. But, let’s face it, sometimes things do go awry. When that happens, it’s important to have a signaling system in place warn and alert workers to nearby dangers. We talked to Pfannenberg Signaling about the importance of proper signaling devices for any occasion.

Here’s what Jake Vernon, Product Specialist-Audible & Visual Signaling, Pfannenberg Sales, had to say about the importance of proper signaling:

 

HOW DO SIGNALING SYSTEMS ENSURE BETTER WORKER SAFETY?

Unheard, unseen or confusing alarms can have serious consequences in some situations, and specifications on paper do not always reflect how a signal will perform in the actual location. This is why Pfannenberg focuces on providing the best solution to effectively capture the attention of personnel, and it communicate the critical information of the nature of the alarm. If a signal device isn’t properly sized for the type of event that it’s communicating, there is a high likelihood that people can get severely hurt.

 

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO CATEGORIZE EVENTS?

An event, as it pertains to signaling, is defined as “something that happens which has a varying degree of importance.” Not any signaling devices can be used to communicate the varying levels of severity in each situation. You wouldn’t lift a 10-ton load with a 5-ton crane; the same concept is used when selecting signaling devices.

 

WHAT TYPES OF EVERYDAY CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRE AN ALARM/SIGNALING SYSTEM?

Signaling systems and devices are used to communicate a message of an event which is happening at that very moment. They can be broken down to three types of events:

  • Alarm – Used when immediate evacuation for emergency situations
  • Warn – Used to alert of nearby danger or critical process condition
  • Indication – Used to communicate the status of process or functioning conditions

WHAT TYPES OF HAZARDOUS INCIDENTS REQUIRE SUCH SYSTEMS?

Signals don’t always need to be in hazardous areas to warrant their existence, but to understand how critical the event is will help you determine which type of signal is needed.

 

WHICH SITUATIONS ARE BEST FOR VISUAL SIGNALS VERSES AUDIBLE? WHICH ENVIRONMENTS WARRANT USING BOTH?

Visual signals can be broken down into two categories, LED and Xenon flashing strobe. Audible signals come in the form of tones and the expansive reach of how far they can be heard.

  • Status or function conditions are best used with visual LED and Xenon strobe lights, this is best categorized as an Indication type event.
  •  Nearby danger or critical process conditions would best be used with Xenon strobe and/or audible signals. Audible signals in this area should be a minimum of 5-10dB above the operating sound pressure level. This would be a Warning type event.
  • Immediate evacuation of an area must be a combination of audible and visual to effectively communicate the danger of a life critical situation. This would be an Alarm type event.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT THE  SIGNALING DEVICES BE RUGGED OR BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND SEVERE CONDITIONS?

Effective communication of an event is only as good as the ability of the device to be able to relay that information to keep personnel safe. Pfannenberg offers sounders which are suitable for use both indoors and outdoors, and are adapted to all industrial requirements.

 

DO YOU OFFER A WARRANTY ON YOUR PRODUCTS?

Pfannenberg Signaling offers the North American leading 10-Year signaling warranty, no questions asked. Much of the reason for this was due to the art illumination project where we outfitted the Eiffel Tower with 20,000 flashing strobe lights, which needed to be maintenance- free for over 10 years. Much of the signaling landscape in the Americas carry a 2-5 year warranty, which separates the parts and labor.

 

WHAT MAKES YOUR SIGNALING DEVICES DIFFERENT FROM YOUR COMPETITION?

Pfannenberg’s 3-Dimensional signaling concept sets us apart from the competition through the three most critical areas needed when specifying the correct device:

  • Personnel Dimension – The location of the personnel with regards to the safety of being notified by a signaling device.
  • Spatial Dimension – Determining the area a specific device can cover based on conditions around the alarm (i.e. Decibel level, etc.)
  • Special Conditions – Unique factors in the surrounding environment which could affect the hearing or seeing of the alarm

The Spatial Dimension sets us apart from our competition due to the area each device can cover. Pfannenberg audible and visual signaling devices can cover a larger area per device, allowing for significant cost savings in total cost of ownership to the end-user.

 

WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR COMPANIES LOOKING TO INCREASE SAFETY?

Make safety a priority! Signaling products that are effectively incorporated into your workplace can reduce risks of injury or death, and allow your personnel to leave work the same way they arrived.