The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) is reconsidering whether to extend the deadline for machine tool builders to conform to EN 954-1 in parallel with EN ISO 13849-1 to support compliance with the European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC for an additional three years. A final decision may be made during the Machinery Working Group meeting on 7-8 Dec 2009.
EN 954-1 has been the main standard for the design of safety-related control systems in the “machinery safety” sector. New standards EN ISO 13849-1 or EN/IEC 62061 — which provide for use of more advanced safety-control systems technologies — are scheduled to replace EN 954-1 on 29 December 2009, making the new control-system standards the only ones accepted under the new European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. This change has been widely anticipated since EN ISO 13849-1 was published in 2006.
Many machine builders and control-system suppliers have invested significant time and money in preparing to follow the new standards, while others have found it challenging. Therefore, some have requested that the deadline for withdrawal of the presumption of conformity for EN 954-1 be extended. This would mean that machine builders could use either EN ISO 13849-1 or continue using the older EN 954-1 until the new deadline.
In any case, with the complete withdrawal of EN 954-1 being inevitable, “use of EN 954-1 alone will become problematic,” noted Dan Hornbeck, Market Development Manager at Rockwell Automation. “EN 954-1 is not specifically suitable for more advanced technologies commonly used today in machine-control applications and safety products. Additionally, many machine-specific C-type EN standards already call for the use of EN ISO 13849-1 or EN 62061, with no reference to EN 954-1.
“We believe machine builders should comply with EN ISO 13849-1 as soon as possible. Rockwell Automation has long supported the new functional safety standards for two important reasons: First, the new standard helps improve the safety of today’s complex machines. Second, incorporating new technologies and design practices that the new EN ISO 13849-1 standard supports can help companies see improvements in overall machine efficiency, productivity and flexibility.”
Even if the deadline were to be extended, working to EN 954-1 could be viewed as not best is class practices.
Rockwell Automation offers services to help customers meet the new standards with technologies, products, and the necessary functional safety data. Functional safety data is available in multiple forms, including a data library for use with the SISTEMA calculation tool from the BGIA (Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance), and a PDF file providing data for manual calculation. Functional safety data, including both the SISTEMA calculation tool and the library, can be downloaded at the Rockwell Automation Safety Solutions Portal (www.discover.rockwellautomation.com).
Filed Under: Factory automation, Mechatronics, Safety systems + components