New Signal Tower Technology and Designs Means One Size Can Fit All Applications

By Jacob Vernon, Production Manager, Pfannenberg

With the advent of new signal tower technology and designs, state-of-the-art signal towers (aka stack lights) are now bright enough to fit all applications and environments. That makes it easier to order signal towers and reduces the number of spare parts needed.

The new generation of signal towers eliminates configuring, ordering, and stocking difficulties users previously faced because of the proliferation of different sizes and options to meet the wide range of applications.

Typical Signal Tower Lights and Alarms

Signal towers can contain up to five lights of different colors (red, amber, yellow, green, blue, and white), with each color signifying a particular status, warning, or alarm.

Lights in each category may blink continuously or intermittently to indicate a more urgent condition and to attract more attention. The signal tower may also include audible warning/alarming signals.

Application Affects Tower Number and Type of Lights

Stack towers are used in a wide variety of applications, which may affect the number and color of lights used. Examples include machine warning indication and machine fault management; productivity monitoring, for example rate-based machine output management with displays counting parts per hour or parts per shift and equipment effectiveness and productivity; and as warnings and alarms signifying hazardous chemical levels.

Advantages of New Generation of Stack Lights

A new generation of stack lights replaces incandescent bulbs with LED elements that can be 10,000 percent brighter, making them much more visible and better at capturing attention in all indoor and outdoor ambient light conditions.

LEDs also last much longer than incandescent bulbs. While incandescent bulbs typically are rated at a lamp life of only 2500 hours under ideal conditions, LED elements last for at least 50,000 hours. Moreover, LEDs are not as vulnerable to vibration and shock as incandescent bulbs, generate less heat, and consume much less electrical power.

The Size Advantage

Perhaps the most significant advantage of this new generation of stack lights is the LED’s smaller size. Some stack tower lights with incandescent bulbs feature diameters of up to 4 inches (100 mm), while state-of-the-art LED stack towers have lenses with half the diameter – even though the systems are much brighter.

One-Size-Fits-All Makes for Easier Ordering and Inventory

Selecting the right size and figuring out all required parts results in a complicated ordering process because incandescent bulb and lens sizes vary greatly depending on the application or environment’s luminosity requirements. This makes maintaining spare parts costly and burdensome.

The new state-of-the-art LED signal towers are bright enough so that one-size-fits-all, or nearly all, applications. That makes it much simpler to figure out what is needed for each application, and maintaining inventory is much cheaper and easier.

Signaling towers are a simple and effective solution for a wide variety of applications. New technology now makes them easier to order, install, and maintain.

Safety Begins with Understanding the Situation: Remembering to Maintain Safety While Ramping Up Productivity During National Safety Month

By Jake Vernon, (Product Specialist – Audible & Visual Signaling)

The National Safety Council has designated June as National Safety Month, and the third week is focused on Injury Prevention. In 2020 alone, more than four million workplace injuries required medical attention in the U.S. At Pfannenberg, all of our products reflect our belief that Safety Begins with Understanding the Situation.

Safety issues have become more acute since the beginning of the covid pandemic, with business operations ramping up to increase productivity and throughput under tighter timeframes and with labor shortages. With equipment running all the time, companies cannot afford to take the risk that workers will get hurt or machines will be damaged, causing process downtime.

Therefore, we are seeing increased interest in effective and proven signaling technology that provides visual and audible alarms for industrial safety.

The intensely bright LED elements in the BR50 are up to 10,000% brighter than tower lights / stacklights with the old LED bulbs and much more long-lasting.

The BR50 tower lights / stacklights with audible signals can be heard from much farther away. They also add another level of safety by emitting clearly distinct tones for each specific type of crane. Allowing workers to distinguish between the operation of wheeled gantry cranes and the massive stationary cranes.

Whether you install the bright and versatile BR50 tower lights / stacklights on cabinets, machinery frames or junction boxes you’ll find a range of mounting options that will add to the safety, productivity, and style for your facility.

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!

 

#NationalSafetyMonth: How Pfannenberg’s Signaling Technology Helps to Mitigate Risks and Ensure Employee Safety

Do all your alarms sound the same? Did you consider the light/ambient sound levels of your facility or the area to be alarmed when you selected your signaling devices? If not, don’t worry, these are common errors that can be easily corrected with the appropriate signaling strategy.

For #NationalSafetyMonth Jake, our Signaling Product Manager, explains what makes Pfannenberg the Industry Leading manufacturer of Signaling Products.

Pfannenberg Signaling Experts are here to help our customers as many parameters have to be taken into account when planning a Signaling Strategy. It is imperative to understand which/how many visual, audible or combined signaling devices are needed. This starts with understanding the type of event (indication, warning, alarm) but also the signaling confusion that may be happening inside the manufacturing environment.

Our Signaling experts are here to help, not only during #NationalSafetyMonth but all year round so Contact us today to find how we can help reduce the risks in you manufacturing environment!

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!