Rockwell urges machine builders to use EN ISO 13849-1

07 January 2010

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EN 954-1 has been given an extended transition period (see EN 954-1 extension confirmed as two years) but Rockwell Automation is encouraging machine builders to instead use either EN ISO 13849-1 or EN/IEC 62061, as appropriate.

Dan Hornbeck, Safety Market Development Manager at Rockwell Automation, comments: "Early adopters not only will move ahead of the competition, but also help better protect workers and machinery. These new standards provide functional safety guidance that helps improve safety, efficiency and sustainability - while reducing development and operational costs."

Many global manufacturers already specify compliance with the new standards, and Rockwell Automation is helping customers meet them 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 is available with data for use in manual calculations. Functional safety data, including the SISTEMA calculation tool and library, can be downloaded at the Rockwell Automation Safety Solutions Portal.

In addition, Rockwell currently has a discussion going on its Safety Automation Forum LinkedIn group, where the company commented:

"It is true that no current US standard mandates compliance with EN ISO 13849-1, as the deadline in question for EN 954-1 applies specifically to the European Machinery Directive. It should be noted, however, that the ISO designation in EN ISO 13849 indicates a global standard, with international participation in its development and voting via ISO Technical Committee 199. It can be expected that countries that have a requirement for a national standard for machinery safety control systems will adopt this standard or use it as a base."

However, as JB Titus commented in the discssion, compliance with the new standard(s) does bring not only improved safety, but also provides for use of current technologies that improve machine performance and efficiency. As a result, many of the global manufacturers are already specifying compliance with EN ISO 13849-1 for all new machines. These machines will be supplied by machine builders that can meet the standards, and those that cannot compete will lose business to those that can, based on either the specification requirement or on overall machine performance.

To read more of Rockwell Automation's views on EN 954-1, see the article EU Provides Additional Time to Meet New Safety Standards (30kB PDF). See also this article on EN 954-1 and ten reasons NOT to use it.

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