PowerSafe Automation: Powering a Safer Working Environment
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PowerSafe Automation: Powering a Safer Working Environment

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Shawn Mantel, Co-Owner/VP, PowerSafe AutomationShawn Mantel, Co-Owner/VP
“Concern for the man himself and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors,” - Albert Einstein. The quote by Einstein stresses on safety being the foremost concern as it acts to be the first aid for the uninjured. Foundation of PowerSafe Automation too lies upon the idea of ‘safety.’ The company offers turnkey solutions for machine safety and industrial automation applications. The story behind PowerSafe’s inception is rather intriguing. When Lance Lalone, an electrical contractor, and Shawn Mantel, a sales engineer, both having more than two decades of experience in their respective fields, struck a conversation, they realized that by combining their areas of expertise they could offer something unique in the market. They saw the lack of machine safety systems between mechanical processes, traditional machines, and new generation robots and computer controls. To fulfill this void, Lalone and Mantel founded PowerSafe Automation in 2016 with a mission to provide a safer working environment through its turnkey solutions.

In a span of just three years, PowerSafe has carved a niche category in the market providing machine safety guarding and automation solutions with custom design, fabrication, and nationwide installation. These systems range from basic machine guarding to fully integrated, custom machine safety systems. In addition to machine, electronic, and machine tool safety guarding, the company offers industrial automation solutions (consisting of mechanical controls, automation, and automated sensing systems). Moreover, they have validated their experience through memberships with ISNetworld, NSC, ASSP, and the BBB. This has enabled PowerSafe to expand their network, provide additional safety training to their employees, and create, upload, and maintain a substantial safety manual with the liability coverage to a trusted platform for clients review.

As per OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations of 2018, the machine guarding ranks ninth in total safety violations. Hence, it is paramount for organizations to take concrete measures to ensure the well-being of their employees. “With people getting hurt/killed because of improper guarding or no guarding, what organizations lack is not having time and skilled people to design, fabricate, and install machine guards or repair them,” mentions Mantel, Co-Owner and VP, PowerSafe. Hence, organizations look for turnkey solution providers who can ‘do-it-all’ for them. This need for end-to-end services further cements PowerSafe’s position in the market as they offer ‘start to finish’ installation and wiring of all the products they fabricate. With their solutions for machine safety, organizations can save time as well as money as they do not have to source multiple people to design and install machine guards. “We custom design, fabricate, and install machine safety and automation systems nationwide including electronic safety device integration, to help improve our clients’ machine safety,” adds Mantel.

When a request for machine guarding comes, PowerSafe enquires about pictures and dimensions of the machine.


We custom design, fabricate, and install machine safety and automation systems nationwide with electronic safety device integration, to help improve our clients’ machine safety

Thereafter, the company’s team goes on-site, taking an out-of-the-box approach, they talk to the safety director, the machine operator(s), and maintenance personnel, to gain insights for designing the custom guarding systems, which improves workplace safety attitudes. The team designs the system, deciding on the necessary physical barriers required, more importantly, what electrical integrations are needed— light curtains, area scanners, safety switches and more. After putting together the whole package of mechanical and electrical systems, the design is reviewed by the client. Once the design is approved, the next step involves fabricating the parts as per the design, and here, PowerSafe is capable of doing everything in-house including the safety controls. Besides, as the entire fabrication happens off-site, this leads to decreasing the overall lead-time, simultaneously increasing the quality of the build and reduces machine downtime for the client. Once the fabrication is finished, they dispatch the guard system to the client site for installation. Thereafter, PowerSafe provides “field-fit” services of the physical guarding made possible with their mobile shop job trailer, and then demonstrates, and tests each part of the electronics installed showing the machine stops when the operator attempts to bypass the selector e-safety devices. Going a step further, the company also provides the after-sales services, wherein clients can purchase replacement parts and contract additional field service keeping with the consistency of the original project.

Speaking of an instance, Mantel mentions about the client that they had within the first six months of PowerSafe’s inception. Phillps 66, a multinational energy firm, contacted them to install custom machine guarding, for one of their lubricant facilities. The company visited on-site, took a survey of the machines, and noted the measurements, followed by giving the designs and quote to the client for review. After the approval, they installed the machine guarding on five assembly lines. The client was very satisfied with the guarding installation that they rolled PowerSafe’s offerings to six of their other facilities.

In an organizational landmark, Mantel sheds light on a great partnership formed with an Italian company called ReeR—manufacturer of a wide range of safety devices, such as light curtains, safety switches, programmable controllers, safety relays, and more. ReeR was looking to expand its business in the U.S. and contacted PowerSafe for partnership. At the same time, PowerSafe too was looking for an electronic safety device provider. By joining hands together, both the companies were able to benefit each other, with ReeR supplying PowerSafe the electronic safety devices and PowerSafe assisting them in the expansion. “We were thrilled when the Italian manufacturer contacted us, this speaks for our name in the market, as they chose us to help them expand in the U.S. market,” remarks Mantel.

Today, the industries are rapidly moving towards automation, but what lacks is the knowledge and skills needed to operate the non-automated or older machines. Ticking all the right boxes, PowerSafe strikes the right balance, taking care of automation needs as well as guarding the traditional machines with their skilled trade services. Envisioning a successful future, the company continuously strives to focus on new ways to expand the business and their outreach, and continue to improve machine safety to save people lives.