Following the debacle surrounding EN 954-1 and whether or not it will provide a presumption of conformity to the Machinery Directive after 29 December 2009 (see this news item), Rockwell Automation has published its own thoughts on the matter via its new safety portal - see the European Commission revises statement regarding Machinery Directive standards item.
In this document, Dan Hornbeck, Market Development Manager at Rockwell, writes: "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."
Rockwell's view is that even if the deadline were to be extended when the machinery Working Group meets to make its final decision in early December, working to EN 954-1 would increasingly be seen as 'second class.' The opportunities provided by functional safety standards to improve safety, efficiency and sustainability – while reducing development and operational costs – means that machine builders who adopt these technologies early will move ahead of the competition.