Review: food and beverage machinery safety seminar

24 November 2015

Pilz Automation Ltdvisit website


Review: food and beverage machinery safety seminarOn 5 November 2015 Pilz hosted a machinery safety seminar focusing on the needs of the food and beverage industry. This was attended by over 40 engineers and managers from machine builders, system integrators, panel builders and end users across the UK. Jon Severn, the Editor of, was also present and he has provided the following review.

Dave Bromme, the Business Development Manager for Services at Pilz, presented the first session covering standards and Directives. This presentation outlined the requirements in relation to risk assessment (as per BS EN ISO 12100:2010) and also provided a useful explanation of when a machine should be supplied with a Declaration of Incorporation (DoI) and when it should be supplied with a Declaration of Conformity (DoC) and be CE marked to the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. One of the standards discussed was BS EN 415-10:2014, Safety of packaging machines. General Requirements, which is a new standard that is important for packaging machinery not covered by any of the other C Type standards for specific classes of packaging machines.

David Collier, the Business Development Manager for Products at Pilz, then presented detailed information about BS EN 14119:2013, Safety of machinery. Interlocking devices associated with guards. Principles for design and selection, which superseded EN 1088 on 30 April 2015. The presentation included an explanation of fault masking and there was a discussion about whether the principles contained within BS EN 14119 should be applied retrospectively to existing machines that have multiple guards switches wired in series.

Packaging machine case study

To illustrate some of the points being made, a case study was used to show how physical guarding and other machinery safety products - such as coded guard switches and safety light curtains with muting function - could be applied to a shrink wrapper in order to comply with the relevant machinery safety standards.

Jamie Thomas, a machinery safety specialist at Pilz, then discussed PUWER assessments in the context of food and beverage production and packaging machinery. He also talked about the important question of what should be done in the event of an item of work equipment failing the PUWER assessment, and what the HSE might expect to see in terms of planning and remedial work.

Safety PLC

For machine builders and system integrators involved with machinery where safety relays and configurable safety controllers are insufficient, David Collier gave a short presentation about the Pilz PSS 4000 safety PLC. Although this is capable of being used to control both the safety and non-safety automation ('standard') functions on machines, the UK market appears to prefer separation of safety and standard controls, hence the PSS 4000 tends to be used solely as a safety PLC in the UK.

Ross Fenion, the Business Development Manager for Drives and Motion Control at Pilz, provided a useful overview of the servo drives, motion controllers and servo motors that Pilz can supply as part of an automation system requiring safe motion control. According to Ross Fenion, the safety card in the servo drives mean these are the only such devices that can achieve PL e or SIL 3 even when positional feedback is from a single standard encoder. For applications in food packaging machinery, the use of safety-enabled servo axes can simplify considerably the system design, development and implementation.

In the final presentation of the day, David Collier discussed safety-related sensing devices such as safety light curtains, coded RFID guard switches, hinge switches and the PSENsgate all-in-one unit for gate monitoring, locking and housing control elements (emergency stop switch, reset switch, etc). In addition, the PITmode device operating mode selector switch can be particularly useful with robotic packaging machines and similar applications where there might be a need to operate the machine in hold-to-run, inch or low-speed modes.

Questions and answers

During the refreshment breaks attendees had ample opportunity to meet the presenters and ask specific questions. In addition, there was a tabletop display of some of the safety products that were being discussed during the presentations.

At the end of the event delegates were given a pack containing a selection of literature, as well as a useful Functional Safety poster with a risk assessment flow chart, ISO 13849 risk graph, glossary and other information relating to safety-related control systems and compliance with EN ISO 13849-1 and EN/IEC 62061.

During 2016 Pilz is planning to host more industry-specific machinery safety seminars at venues around the UK. Judging by the food and beverage event on 5 November 2015, these are likely to be very worthwhile attending.

Follow the link for more information about the machinery safety training courses or contact Pilz to enquire about further industry-specific machinery safety seminars in 2016 by emailing (please mention

© Copyright 2006-14 Damte Ltd.