In the summer of 2015 Lance Lalone, an electrical contractor, and Shawn Mantel, a Sales Engineer, began conversations about each other’s respective backgrounds. They quickly realized that they could join forces and offer the market something unique. They decided they could exploit a void in the market with their skills and abilities. With a gap in machine safety systems between mechanical processes and machines, and the new generation of computer controls and robots there is a need for a company to provide skilled trade services. That casual conversation quickly became reality and PowerSafe Automation was founded January 2016. They have created a niche category in the market providing safety guarding, electrical, & automation solutions from design-thru-nationwide installation. Their efforts quickly paid off as they were continually adding new customers, which included a few Fortune 500 companies with multi-line/multi-plant projects. In the fall of 2016 they needed to expand to meet current demand, and moved into a new 14,000 sq ft facility with the offices and the shop in one location. Starting out with one employee using their homes as offices and shops they now have 4 full-time employees and 3 part-time employees, and the start of a fleet of field installation vehicles and trailers. With no end in sight, they continue to focus on new ways to expand the business and their outreach, grow relationships with their customers, and most importantly continue to improve machine safety saving people lives. Prior to creating PowerSafe Automation, Lance LaLone owned his own electrical & mechanical contracting business for over 15 years and was part of a family business prior to that in northeast Indiana. Shawn Mantel was part of two startup companies in the t-slotted extrusion and safety guarding market over the last 25 years being an integral part in growing them into two of the most well-known companies in their respective market.
PowerSafe Automation has created a niche in the market as a turnkey solutions provider for machine safety and industrial automation applications. The company was founded in 2016 with consistency in brand recognition and support to the marketplace. We are able to provide exceptional project execution and consistency to our customers due to our development and training of a complete infrastructure of policies, procedures, and reporting structure for all facets of our business. We also periodically audit our files to ensure accuracy in a dynamic business platform and to ensure any gaps are identified and remedied. We have validated our experience through memberships with ISNetworld (hiring client to contractor compliance group), NSC (National Safety Council), ASSP (American Society of Safety Professionals), and the BBB (Better Business Bureau). This allowed us to expand our outreach in networking, provide additional safety training to our employees, and create, upload, & maintain a substantial safety manual along with our liability coverage to a trusted platform for clients to review.
PowerSafe Automation employs industrial engineers who meet with key personnel, such as Safety, Maintenance, and Operations to create synergy in developing the safest solution possible. This allows us to create a proper safety system while still providing the necessary access to the machine for production and maintenance, which is presented to the customer with a fully detailed CAD design. These systems can range from basic machine guarding to fully integrated machine safety systems. Turnkey designs are achieved through a combination of bolt-on physical guarding, such as T-Slotted Aluminum framing with wire mesh and/or plastic panels, common machine shields, and power transmission covers. These systems are then fully integrated with electronic safety devices, such as safety light curtains, safety switches, and safety laser scanners along with the necessary safety control circuitry required to integrate into the customer’s machines. We also provide turnkey solutions requiring additional integration, such as sound blocking materials, automated door assists, integrated timer circuitry, production monitoring systems, and intrinsic safety systems, which are application specific.
Our experienced mechanical and controls technicians build as much of the project off-site including the safety circuits in efforts to reduce production down-time for the client. Once on-site, the proper training is executed, a jobsite analysis is reviewed, the crew gears up with the proper PPE, and the required lockout-tagout procedures are followed. The field technicians then install the physical safety guarding commonly consisting of drilling/tapping customer machines and/or drilling the concrete floors, as well as required custom fastening solutions application-specific. A “field-fit” service is provided to make sure the physical guarding provides the proper protection required. The electronic safety devices are then mounted and integrated by our controls technicians into the client’s required start/stop machine circuit through our own designed PowerControls machine-to-safety device integrator. This is followed by the device and circuit validation for reliability and proper functionality. The electronic safety devices in conjunction with our PowerControls allows the ability to achieve the highest safety category level required for each specific application.
One success story we are proud to promote is our speed monitoring system. After attempts with other suppliers, a client contacted us with a problem looking for a unique solution. Their current situation had an old lathe with a simple barrier guard and a non-locking safety switch on the door. This machine took 15 seconds to ramp down allowing the operator to be exposed to the hazards once the non-locking door was opened. We designed a speed monitoring system using an encoder, a proximity sensor, and a locking solenoid switch controlled by our PowerControls. This kept the door locked until the speed monitoring system sensed the lathe was at zero rotation eliminating the hazard presence to the operator. We were just published as an authority for this application in the June 2018 issue of Assembly Magazine.
PowerSafe Automation has a high customer retention rate by providing the client with an exceptional value for their money focusing on quality, reliability, and service. We provide consistency throughout the entire design thru installation process ranging from a single facility to Fortune 500 companies with multiple locations nationwide. We believe communication is a key factor in building long term customer relations. We hold internal pre-jobsite meetings to properly prepare for the project, as well as hold post jobsite meetings to discuss the successes and challenges of each project. This allows us to build a safer work environment for our clients by providing continual improvement to the marketplace while lowering the statistic of OSHA machine guarding methods standard 1910.212 being the 8th most-cited OSHA violation.