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Standards for safe machinery and plants updated

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SICK , suppliers of solutions and services for all aspects of safe machinery, offers safety expertise from practicians for practicians in its 120-page manual “Safe Machinery – six steps to a safe machine”. The guidelines are based on the updated Machinery Directive 2006/42/EG and the new EN ISO 13849-1 and EN 62061 safety standards, valid from 29.12.2009. In addition to the guidelines, which can be ordered or downloaded at www.sick-safetyplus.com, SICK supports producers and users of machinery and plant with a wide range of safety activities.  

Safe machines create legal security for producers and users; machine users expect producers to only offer safe machinery or devices. With its ”Safe Machinery Guidelines”, SICK offers a manual for the daily work of all producers, users, engineers, plant designers and those responsible for machine safety.  

Six steps to safe and CE-compliant machinery

The ”Safe Machinery Guidelines” start by describing the legislative and standards-based principles for machines in Europe valid from 29.12.2009. Among other things, the scope of application, definition of a machine, conformity process, EC Declaration of Conformity, operating instructions and labelling of machines are new or have been amended. Partly completed machinery is now subject to special description. Among other aspects, use of the new safety standards and distance measurements, for instance, are explained in six steps, structured in the Risk Assessment – Safe Design – Technical Protective Measures – User Information on Residual Risks – Overall Machine Validation – Placing the Machine on the Market. The manual describes how to determine the Performance Level (PL) or Safety Integrity Level (SIL), how the reliability of components or devices and diagnostic capability is to be evaluated, how measures against common-cause faults can be qualified, and how the development process for safe machines can be documented according to the new safety standards. In addition, a very wide range of protective equipment and safety technology variants are shown in practice throughout the entire safety chain – from sensor to actuator – by means of typical applications.                  

Comprehensive support that exceeds what is ”standard”

As an expert in safety technology, SICK takes an approach that involves comprehensive safety thinking. All safety-relevant aspects of a machine – from the initial planning phase, through the risk analysis, engineering and project planning, to commissioning, maintenance and modernisation – are considered in close collaboration with the customer. The aim is to develop an all-embracing sensor, control, and service solution from a single source for every task. Services covering all areas of safety are just as comprehensive and consistent.

Thus customer workshops, or the supplementation of SISTEMA – the free software assistant for the safety of machine controllers offered by the Trade Association of Industrial Safety (BGIA) – with our own product library, are just two examples from the many measures with which SICK supports engineering departments in their work with safety regulations such as EN ISO 13849.

Consultancy and engineering services, e.g. a plant walk-through at users’ works (a tour of the plant with a safety specialist in order to work out concrete proposals for improving current machine safety), also provide links between product technology, application practice and the relevant legal situation. SICK also supports informative events on the current standards situation carried out by federations or Trade Associations and intended for developers, engineers, planners and safety officers.

Ultimately the fact that SICK, with its more than 100 trained safety experts worldwide, has also been certified by DATech as an Inspection Centre according to the IEC and EN ISO 17020, is more than helpful for many companies. Whether initial commissioning, periodic inspection or stoptime measurement – the SICK inspection seal confirms the successful accredited inspection of protective equipment in more than 10,000 safety inspections per year.

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