Free white paper supports compliance with machinery safety standard EN 60204-1
Pilz Automation Ltd
Posted to News on 23rd Apr 2024, 10:00

Free white paper supports compliance with machinery safety standard EN 60204-1

Safe Machine has published a new white paper, 'EN 60204-1 for machine builders and panel builders a guide to avoiding common errors'. Running to fourteen pages, the free publication presents many ways in which machinery often fails to comply with this safety standard's requirements.

Free white paper supports compliance with machinery safety standard EN 60204-1

It was written by Derek Coulson and the late Paul Skyrme, both highly experienced machinery safety specialists. Derek Coulson is a consultant with Safe Machine, as was Paul Skyrme prior to his passing. Having inspected numerous machines and electrical panels, the authors had concluded that machine builders and panel builders are not all fully conversant with EN 60204-1 (IEC 60204-1). Worse than that, on some occasions end users specify that electrical equipment is installed in ways that do not comply with the standard. Non-compliant machinery can be dangerous and a fire risk.

The white paper will help engineers and electricians comply with EN 60204-1. In most cases, doing so will not cost more or take longer. Moreover, ensuring machines and electrical panels are standards-compliant helps to avoid issues arising when customers conduct pre-delivery UKCA/CE marking audits.

EN 60204-1 'Safety of machinery. Electrical equipment of machines. General requirements' is a designated standard. It therefore provides a presumption of conformity when machines are UKCA marked to the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations. This is the equivalent of using harmonised standards when CE marking to the European Machinery Directive which is still required when exporting from Great Britain to the EU.

The non-compliances highlighted in the white paper are equally applicable to machines that are UKCA marked for the GB market and CE marked for export to the EU. Although it is not a legal requirement to comply with designated/harmonised standards, doing so is the easiest way to meet the relevant essential health and safety requirements (EHSRs) in the legislation.

One of the most common errors is for electrical equipment to be installed in accordance with BS 7671 'Requirements for Electrical Installations. IET Wiring Regulations' instead of EN 60204. This can result in wiring colours and current carrying capacity being incorrect, which poses potential risks through misidentification of cables and overheating/fire, respectively.

Other errors and omissions are wide-ranging, from poor labelling and documentation, through to accessibility issues and inadequate equipotential bonding.

The new white paper goes through EN 60204-1 clause by clause to highlight areas where electrical equipment is often non-compliant. It also explains why the non-compliances pose risks to machine users and maintainers. In many cases, the electrical equipment itself is also at risk, which has implications for reliability, availability and the cost of repairs.


Safe Machine Ltd

DBH Business Centre
Coxwold Way
TS23 4EA
UNITED KINGDOM

+44 (0)1642 343430

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